Payment for self-isolating (Test and Trace Support Payment)

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.

You might be able to get a payment of £500 if you’ve been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus (COVID-19) and you cannot work from home.

From 28 September 2020, those self-isolating will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • 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

The Test and Trace Support Payment is designed to support people on low incomes who will lose income as a result of self-isolating. It is also designed to encourage people to get tested if they have symptoms. Getting tested and self-isolating are important to help stop the transmission of coronavirus and avoid further economic and social restrictions.

Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 42 days after their first day of the period of self-isolation. Applications cannot be accepted after this date. For example, a person who is instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate from 3 April 2021 must apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment by 15 May 2021.

Discretionary Payment

You will not be eligible for the discretionary test and trace support payment if:

  • your average gross weekly earnings, when not self isolating, are more than £327 per week
  • your savings are over £6000

Please do not apply if this is the case.

A £500 discretionary payment is available for individuals who:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

In addition, the discretionary payment is for people:

  • who are not 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; and
  • whose maximum weekly gross earnings are less than £327 per week
  • who have no more than £6,000 in savings. Those with savings above this will not be eligible
  • who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating (in all cases applicants will have to demonstrate that they will suffer financial hardship as a result of having to self-isolate)
  • We will consider people who have applied for one of the listed benefits and are waiting for a decision, is currently appealing against a negative decision or is unable to apply for one of the qualifying benefits (as long as they meet the other statutory and discretionary criteria)
  • The same will apply to persons from abroad who are excluded from claiming benefits but meet all the other statutory and discretionary criteria
  • University students or those in further or higher education are eligible to apply for a discretionary payment but must demonstrate a loss in income as a result of having to self-isolate and meet all of the other statutory and discretionary criteria
  • If you do not meet all of the above criteria you will not be eligible for a discretionary award. To check what financial support is available to you, please email [email protected].

There is limited funding from the government for the discretionary scheme. When the funding is spent, we will no longer be able to make awards, therefore we will monitor the scheme and may change the local criteria to ensure those in most need receive help.

These schemes will last until 31 March 2022.

For information on non financial support available for issues related to COVID-19 please visit our directory

Making a claim if you have to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is required to self-isolate

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 not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if their child is told to self-isolate from 16 August 2021.

From 8 March 2021 you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment if you are not legally required to self-isolate but you need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is.

Applications can only be accepted if the child or young person has been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021.

This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period. A parent or guardian can claim more than once, provided their child or young person’s self-isolation periods do not overlap. This applies irrespective of whether the parent or guardian is claiming twice for the same child, or for two different children.

To qualify you:

  • must be employed or self-employed
  • cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • must meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment

Your child or young person:

  • must be aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • must have 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

In all cases, eligible individuals can be made up to six weeks (42 days) after the first day of self-isolation. For example, if you or a child or young person were told to self-isolate on 5 April 2021, the application must be made by 17 May 2021. We cannot accept retrospective applications after the 42-day cut-off.

These schemes will last until 31 March 2022

Exemptions

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
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate unless you are claiming because you need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who has to self-isolate

Apply

If you believe that you are eligible for this payment you should make an application.

Apply for test and trace support payment Apply for caring for self isolating child/young person payment

If you are unable, for whatever reason, to apply online please contact us on:

Contact us

Due to the high volume of applications being received please do not contact us for an update on your application if you submitted it within the last 14 working days.

If you are self-isolating and require support in order to stay at home, please contact us.

If you wish to speak to someone at the council about getting support please call 01296 395000.

To see a list of local support groups and services near you, visit our online directory of activities, groups and services.