Test and Trace Support Payment
The Test and Trace Support Payment has been announced in response to feed back that some residents were struggling to self-isolate due to financial constraints. It is to ensure that people on low incomes self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact, and to encourage more people to get tested. This will help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further social and economic restrictions, including local lockdowns.
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must:
- 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.
- From 8 March 2021 you are the parent or carer of a child who has been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test, Trace, Protect service (TTP) or their school or childcare provider.
- The child attends a school or childcare setting is under 15 or is aged between 16 and 25 and has an Education, Health and Care Plan.
- The child or young person who the parent or guardian is caring for was told to self-isolate and did not continue to attend their education or care setting when they should have been self-isolating.
- Are employed or self-employed
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- Are 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.
If you are not in receipt of any of the benefits listed above, your application will be considered under the Discretionary Scheme. The funding for this scheme is limited.
To qualify for the Discretionary Scheme your normal gross earnings need to be between £80.00 and £290.00 per week.
Details of the Standard and Discretionary payment schemes
Both the Standard and Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment schemes can be found here:
How much is the payment?
Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.
How long will this be in place for?
The scheme will run until the end of June 2021. During this time, we will continue to review the success of the scheme, including the impact on COVID-19 levels.
Will these payments be taxed?
The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer, but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions.
HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return
Before you start
You will need the following information to complete this form:
- A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
- Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
- Proof of your NHS Account ID for coronavirus COVID-19 or;
- Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
- Your National Insurance Number
Supporting evidence about the child or young person
- The child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
- A communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive
- A screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App
How to apply
Make an online application (or a telephone application if someone is not able to access digital services)
What am I required to do?
If you receive a Self-Isolation Payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:
- testing positive and
- those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Can the bank take this payment to pay my overdraft?
If your bank account is overdrawn you can request a first right of appropriation of funds. This is so that the money can be used for essential bills.
You would need to contact your bank as soon as you know the payment is due making clear that the payment is to be used to pay your bills and not your overdraft.
You can find an example letter that you can use here:
More local help is available for those instructed to self-isolate here: