Test and Trace support payment

Last updated on: 19-Oct-2021

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, or you are the parent/guardian of a child/young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate, you may be entitled to financial support.

From 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults who have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace are no longer required to self-isolate. This means they are no longer eligible to make a claim for the support payment. Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate, meaning they are still eligible, providing they also meet all the qualifying criteria.

Unless they have tested positive for coronavirus, the following groups will not qualify if their isolation period commenced on or after 16 August 2021:

  • Those under 18 years old (even if they have not been vaccinated)
  • Those who are fully vaccinated (even if they live in the same household as a positive case, if they themselves test negative, they won’t be required to self-isolate)
  • Children named as a close contact of a positive case from their school (therefore parents/guardians won’t have to take time off work to take care of their children)

At the present time, Government has stated that both the Standard Scheme and Discretionary Scheme will be available until 31 March 2022.

Test and Trace Support Payment

If you meet all of the following eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500:

  • You have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020
  • You are employed or self-employed
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • You are currently receiving or are the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

Discretionary payments

You may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other eligibility criteria above, but:

  • You do not currently receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and
  • You will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you or your child are self-isolating.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Discretionary Scheme is open to those that cannot apply for the standard scheme. Each Council must determine additional criteria that must be met if a payment is to be made.  The additional criteria are:

  • The scheme is for applicants of 18 years of age or over only
  • Applicants must have no more than £3,000 capital (capital will be calculated in accordance with the regulations for Housing Benefit)
  • The applicant must usually earn at least £80 gross per week as a minimum
  • The applicant should (before self-isolation) have maximum gross earnings of:
    • £480.00 per week on average for a single adult; or
    • £720.00 for couples, single parents and families

If you’re eligible for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment, you will receive the £500 payment on top of any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay that you currently receive. The payment will be paid into your bank account.

We are only able to consider applications from individuals who have a valid notification from NHS Test and Trace.  You are required to supply the 8-character reference number, which will be verified prior to payment being issued.

These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

This application is for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.

Parents/guardians of a child or young person who has tested positive for coronavirus

From 16 August 2021, if you are a parent or guardian of either:

  • A child aged 15 or under who normally attends an education or childcare setting and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for coronavirus
  • A person aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan who normally attends an education or childcare setting, and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for coronavirus
  • A person aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan who normally attends an education or childcare setting, is not fully vaccinated and has been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because they have been named as a close contact of a positive case

You will qualify for financial support providing you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You have been named as a close contact of the child or young person who has tested positive for coronavirus and have your own NHS Test and Trace account ID number
  • You are unable to work from home and need to take time off work to care for the child or young person whilst they are self-isolating and will lose income as a result
  • You meet all the other eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment

You must also provide the following additional evidence as part of your application:

  • A Contact Tracing and Advisory Service (CTAS) ID Number for the child

How to apply

To apply, you must provide:

  • When you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate:
    • Your 8-character NHS Test and Trace Account ID
    • A copy of your Test and Trace text, email or letter
  • A bank statement showing the account details where the payment will be made
  • Proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

Backdating payment

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace since 28 September and have been told to self-isolate and you meet the above eligibility criteria you will qualify for a backdated payment.

From 8 March 2021, you must apply within 42 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation.

The Council will not accept any applications after this point.

More information regarding the scheme is available on the GOV.UK website.

Policies

The policies for our standard and discretionary schemes are available for you to view:

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