Test and Trace Support Payment

Last Updated: 11 October 2021

As of 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means they are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate. They are still eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Elibility criteria from 16 August

The ‘main’ Test and Trace Support Payment is for people who live in England and:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated

and

  • 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; and
  • 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

Help for Parents and Guardians

As of 16 August 2021, people under 18 who are identified as a recent contact of someone with COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate. Therefore, most parents and guardians will be ineligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if their child is told to self-isolate from 16 August 2021 or later.

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 from 16 August

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a ‘main’ 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 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 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

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.

Who is eligible for Test and Trace Discretionary Support Payments from 16 August

From 16 August 2021, to meet the eligibility criteria you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated

and

  • have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
  • you live in our district
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • 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
  • 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 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 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

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 42 days of the first day 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 31 March 2022. Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to income tax.

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