COVID-19: Test & Trace Support payment
We are all working hard to keep each other safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 by covering our faces, keeping our distance, washing our hands and national guidance.
From 28 September 2020, to further stop the spread, all of us will be required by law to self-isolate if we test positive for COVID-19, or if we are identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive by the NHS Test and Trace scheme.
If you are required by NHS Test & Trace services to isolate and you cannot work from home, the Government have announced a new one-off payment to support you.
The NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme will make sure that people are not out of pocket if they are told to self-isolate and cannot work from their home. The legal duty to self-isolate came into force on 28th September for people who test positive for Covid-19 or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and can claim a payment of £500.
Full details of this scheme can be found here:
From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is. A separate application for this will be available shortly.
Am I eligible for a test and trace support payment?
Applicants must meet all the criteria below:
- You must have been asked by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate on or after 28th September OR
- You have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace on or after 10th December
- You are the parent or guardian of a child or young person* in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. (This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period).
- you are employed or self-employed.
- you cannot work from home during the isolation period and will lose income as a result.
- you receive of one of the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-Related Empoyment and Support Allowance, Income-Related Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit**
*a child or young is someone who is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
**Those who do not receive a qualifying benefit but would otherwise be eligible, may qualify under the Discretionary Scheme if they meet the additional locally defined criteria.
What is the eligibility criteria for the Discretionary Scheme?
- Prior to the applicant’s need to self-isolate their average gross weekly earnings must have been £100 per week or higher as the potential loss of earnings must represent a fundamental change in your weekly income. Applicants under the lower threshold will be signposted for Universal Credit.
- Prior to the applicant’s need to self-isolate their average gross weekly earnings must have been less than £450 per week to be considered as a low income.
For clarity, ‘prior to’ means the average of the 4 weeks prior to the applicant’s requirement to self-isolate, or part thereof if they are able to evidence a starting date within that four-week averaging period.
- Not hold savings in excess of £2,000.00
- Must have a liability to pay rent or a mortgage
To see if you are eligible for the scheme, you can see our full policy here.
When can people apply?
Parents of children that are in isolation will be able to apply shortly. You can apply if your child's first day of isolation is on or after 8th March 2021.
All applications must be made within 42 days of the first day of isolation.
The scheme is due to run until 30th June 2021.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I claim if I'm self-isolating after returning to the UK?
The scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Can more than one person in a household claim?
People in the same household can make an individual application if they meet qualifying criteria.
Can I claim more than once?
You can claim more than once, if you are told to self-isolate multiple times.
Can I apply on behalf of someone else?
Applicants can claim on behalf of someone else (eg a son on behalf of a parent) but the payment will only be made into the bank account in the name for whom the application was made (eg in the parent's name).
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the 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 self-isolate
- Can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- Are no longer required to self-isolate, that is, your period of self-isolation ended before the self-isolation payment scheme launched (28 September 2020)
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
If you do not engage with Test and Trace during your period of isolation
How can I apply?
Retrospective claims will be allowed for a period of 42 days from the date of isolation, so as long as the first day of isolation is on or after 8th March.