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Test and Trace support payment

Test and Trace Support Payment

If you've been told to self-isolate you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment.

There is now a legal duty on people to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. If you're on a low income and cannot work during self-isolation, you may be able to access a lump sum Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, which will be paid directly into your bank account.

This payment is subject to tax, but you will not be taxed at the point of payment and will be contacted by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at a later date if you go over your personal allowance, and your tax code may change to collect the tax. If you’re self- employed you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment return.

The scheme will run from the 28 September 2020 to the 30 June 2021.

From March 8, 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 has been told to self-isolate from their education or childcare setting. If you meet all of the criteria below you could be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment:

  • 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 while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result 
  • you meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or the criteria for the local discretionary scheme
  • the child or young person:
    • 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.
    • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Please read the following information carefully before making your claim.

When to make a claim

You can only make a claim for the support payment if you have been asked to self-isolate on or after the 28 September 2020.

If you are making a claim as a parent or guardian of a child that that been told to self-isolate, they must have been told to do this on or after 8 March 2021.

You can make a claim up to 42 days from the date that your period of self-isolation starts. We are unable to accept applications made after this point.

Each application is for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You live in Stoke-on-Trent (if you live outside the area you must apply to your own local authority)
  • You were asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who tested positive
  • You are employed or self-employed
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • You are currently receiving one or more 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

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 self-isolate
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • were notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate before 28 September 2020
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • are furloughed from work. The payment is for people who are losing income because they are unable to work because they are self-isolating

Supporting information

You will need to provide evidence to support your claim, which may include:

  • Notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this should include a unique 8-digit ID number)
  • Proof you are claiming a qualifying benefit
  • Proof of your bank account for payment e.g. your most recent bank statement
  • Proof of income e.g. a copy of a recent wage slip
  • If you are self-employed, we need to see evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

If you are claiming as a Parent/Guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you will also need to provide at least one of the following:

  • 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; OR
  • 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; OR
  • 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.

Please note that as part of the application process as a Parent or Guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate contact will be made with the education or care setting to verify the details provided.

How to make a claim

If you are applying because you have been told to self-isolate you should complete the Test and Trace Support Application Form using the link at the bottom of this page.

If you are applying because you are the Parent or Guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate you should complete the Test and Trace Support Payment application form using the link at the bottom of this page.

Please note that you can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment as many times as you are asked to isolate, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria above for each claim and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

What happens next?

We will review your application and carry out checks across relevant Council departments, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and NHS Test and Trace to confirm your self-isolation status. If granted a payment, we will notify Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes.

If you are applying as the Parent or Guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate we will also contact the education or childcare setting for that child or young person.

We aim to process your application and make a decision within ten working days. We will notify you by email of the outcome of your application and if awarded a payment, this should reach your bank account within three working days of our email.

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment

If you meet all the eligibility criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, but do not receive any of the qualifying benefits listed earlier on this page you may still be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you satisfy one of the following additional criteria:

  • You are awaiting a decision about a recent claim for one of the qualifying benefits listed above which was made before the start date of your isolation period, or;
  • You are in receipt of Council Tax Support, or;
  • You have no recourse to public funds and can provide evidence to support this (this means that you are subject to immigration control as a migrant to the UK and are unable to claim most welfare benefits).

Test and Trace Support Application Form

Test and Trace Support Payment application Parent or Guardian