Test and Trace Support Payment

Last Updated: 7 January 2022

The Test and Trace Support payment helps those on low incomes who cannot work during their self-isolation period or will lose income if they need to care for a young person who is required to self-isolate.

Applications must be made within 42 days of the first day of your or the young person’s self-isolation period.

Note:

  • you must have tested positive via a PCR test, or have been instructed to self-isolate as a contact by NHS Test and Trace and are not fully vaccinated
  • positive lateral flow tests cannot be used as evidence to claim a support payment

Eligibility criteria

As of 16 August 2021, to be eligible for the support payment you:

  • have tested positive via a PCR test or have been instructed to self-isolate as a contact by NHS Test and Trace and are not fully vaccinated
  • have responded to message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one 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

A parent of guardian of a child or young person may be eligible if:

  • they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person in the same household who is self-isolating
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income
  • the young person has:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan; or
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan
    • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
    • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a ‘main’ payment

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.

Discretionary payments

If you do not meet the criteria for the Test and Trace or Parent/Guardian support payment, you may still be eligible for a special discretionary scheme. This applies 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.

To be considered for the discretionary scheme, you need to make an application using the relevant form below and provide all the evidence and verification required.

Who is eligible for discretionary payments

As of 15 November 2021, you will eligible if you:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have tested positive via a PCR test or because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated
  • have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
  • live in our district
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • must have less than £3k total capital
  • must ordinarily earn less than £26,000 per year, or £500 per week before any deductions
  • are not currently receiving, and are not the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of the following:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

A parent or guardian of a child or young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household who is self isolating and need to take time off work to care for them
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income
  • the young person has
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an EHC; or
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18 to 25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a discretionary payment
  • 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 for discretionary payments

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

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

The scheme will run until 31 March 2022. Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to income tax.

If you need help completing the form please call Customer Services.