Test and Trace support payments
If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and could lose income as a result, you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace support payment.
From 16 August 2021: you will not be legally required to self-isolate (if identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case) if you are:
- aged 18 or under
- have been fully vaccinated or had a second vaccination at least two weeks before being told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
You can find out if you’re eligible and what information you need to apply on the Government website.
You must make your claim within 42 days of the start of your isolation period.
You can claim more than once (if you are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.
In some cases, you may be able to qualify for a Discretionary Award Payment even if you don’t meet the criteria set out on the Government website but will still face financial hardship due to not being able to work.
What happens when I apply?
As part of the application, you will need to provide supporting evidence including:
- a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate.
- proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits.
- a bank statement (as a basic up-front fraud check).
- proof of employment such as recent wage slips or a recent bank statement showing wages being paid in.
- 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.
We use this information to verify what you’ve told us with the NHS and/or the DWP.
We will notify you of the decision about your claim by email or letter. We’ll also give you information about other support you may be able to access.
You cannot appeal the decision made by the Council. Applications will be rejected if they do not meet the eligibility criteria.
How do I apply?
If you have been told to self-isolate
You will need to be complete the online Test and Trace Support Payment application form and attach the supporting evidence the form asks for.
If you do not have access to the internet, and you have no family or friends to help you make the online application, you can call the Council on 01332 640202 between 9am and 5pm. A member of staff will complete the Test and Trace support payment application with you.
Another person can make a claim on your behalf. The Test and Trace Support Payment must be made into the bank account of the person who has been told to self-isolate. For example, if you are making a claim for a family member, the payment will be made into the family member’s bank account.
If you are a parent or guardian and had to care for a child who is self-isolating
The Government have extended Test and Support Scheme to allow a parent or guardian to make a claim for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment where their child has been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
A parent or guardian may be eligible for payment if they are unable to work from home and will lose earnings because they have to look after their child whilst they isolate.
It is important that claims are made within 42 days of the start of the isolation period.
How is the payment made?
We will make a payment into the bank account stated on the Test and Trace Support Payment application as soon as possible after a successful decision.
The Test and Trace Support Payment is subject to income tax but is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. These rules apply to both the Test and Trace Support Payment and the Discretionary Award.
The Council has a responsibility to provide details of all Test and Trace Support Payments to HMRC.
What about fraudulent claims?
The Council are responsible for implementing post payment measures to manage fraud and have the right to recover the costs from applicants who claim a payment fraudulently.