Test and Trace Support Payment

The Government has placed a new duty on individuals to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. To continue to support those on low incomes who cannot work during their self-isolation period, a new Test and Trace Support Payment of a £500 lump sum payment has been introduced.

Payments of £500 will be available for eligible individuals who have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or for parents and guardians of some children or young people who have been advised to self-isolate.

Who is eligible

In order to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently 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

Help for Parents and Guardians

On 22 March 2021, the Department for Education announced that parents and guardians of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace on or after 8 March 2021 are able to apply for a Test and Trace Support payment, or discretionary payment of £500, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria. The scheme aims to ensure that parents receive the financial assistance that they need if they are unable to work as a result of caring for a child or young person who has been advised to self-isolate.

Applications should be made to us. Educational settings, including nurseries, schools and colleges are required to provide official notification to all parents or guardians of children asked to self-isolate and these will be required to support any applications.

Who is eligible for the parent and guardian scheme

In order to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment you must:

  • be a parent or guardian of a child that has been told to self isolate by either NHS Test and Trace or by the child's educational setting on or after 8 March 2021
  • your child or young person is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends and education or childcare setting
  • need to stay at home to look after any children or certain young people (children must be aged 15 or under, and young people aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), and normally attends an education or childcare setting) that have been asked to self-isolate, and that child or young person who the parent or guardian is caring for did not continue to attend their education or care setting when they should have been self-isolating
  • make a claim within 6 weeks of the child or young person's first day of self-isolation
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be currently 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 for those who do not meet the criteria for the Test and Trace scheme and/ or Parent and Guardian Scheme

If you are not receiving one of the qualifying benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation of yourself or a child or young person will cause you hardship, or you do not currently have Recourse to Public Funds, you may still be entitled under a special discretionary scheme.

To be considered for the discretionary scheme, you need to make an application to us in the prescribed form and provide all the evidence and verification required.

From 8 March 2021, you must meet all of the eligibility criteria to be considered:

  • you live in our district
  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate either by NHS Test and Trace or your child's education or care setting
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • are NOT currently receiving any of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit;
  • you must have less than £3k total capital
  • you must ordinarily earn less than £26,000 per year, or £500 per week before any deductions

Who is not eligible

You will not be eligible for this scheme if you:

  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
  • continue to receive full wages while you or a child or young person self-isolates
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation for yourself or your child or young person
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate, or the child or young person has not received an official notification from their education or care setting
  • You are a full time student

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

Applications for the support payment must be made within 28 days of the end of your self-isolation period.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment (child isolating)

Applications for the Parent and Guardian's scheme must be made within 42 days of the first day of the child or young person's first day of self-isolation.

The scheme will run until 30 June 2021. Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to income tax.

If you need help completing the form please call Customer Services, details listed below.