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Test and Trace Support Payment

Workers on a low income who need to stay at home and self-isolate may be entitled to a payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Who can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment?

You can apply for a £500 self-isolation payment if you are aged 16 or over and you:

  • this is for individuals who have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020 or identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020
  • have been given an 8-digit reference number provided by NHS Test and Trace
  • live in Ashfield district
  • have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have a job or are self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

You also need to be currently receiving one 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.

You must also agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and self-isolate.

This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

Test and Trace support payment for non-self-isolating parents or guardians

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.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Test and Trace support payment you must meet all the following criteria:

  • 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 locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.

And your 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.

Backdating

The child or young person must have been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021.

Applications can be backdated to this point and the parent or guardian will be eligible for the payment if they meet all the other eligibility criteria (for the main scheme or the discretionary scheme).

You should apply within 42 days from the date of your child’s or young person’s self-isolation.

The payment will be made in one lump sum and will be subject to Income Tax.

What you need to apply

In order to apply you will need to provide the following evidence. Either:

  • 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.

Plus

  • A bank statement, which your Test and Trace payment will be paid into.
  • Proof of employment, or if you are self-employed, self-employment assessment returns, trading income and proof that you cannot work from home and will lose income as a result.

For the prevention of fraud, we will check your child’s or young person’s details with their education or care setting.

If you are applying for a Discretionary Payment we may need to ask you for further information.

Discretionary payments

You may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you do not currently receive any of the benefits mentioned above but you meet all the other eligibility criteria, and:

  • you are able to demonstrate that you will suffer financial hardship by having to self-isolate
  • you have savings of less than £2,000, and
  • are on a low income (average gross weekly pay of less than £305.20 per week but more than £95.85 per week).

You must also agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and self-isolate.

This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

What information do I need before I start my application?

You will need the following information before starting the application:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your 8-character NHS Test and Trace Account ID
  • your most recent bank statement
  • and a wage slip or proof of self-employment.

You will not be able to complete the form without these details and will need to upload the evidence in order for the claim to go through. 

View the Self-isolation COVID-19 payments Privacy Notice

Apply for Test and Trace Support Payment

The scheme will run until 30 June 2021. 

Can I claim this payment more than once?

Yes, if you are told to self-isolate on more than one occasion between 28 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 you can claim for each time.

Can I claim this payment on behalf of my family members?

Applications are for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.

What are the penalties for not self-isolating?

As well as new support measures, from 28 September to 30 June 2021, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19. Or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.

From this date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.

Income Tax

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on your payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you’re self-employed, you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return.

Ways to contact us

If you cannot use the online form to apply or if you have a query about the Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment you can contact us by: 

  • telephone: 01623 457400.