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Test & Trace eligibility FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

How is ‘unable to work from home’ defined?

‘Unable to work from home’ means that you have a job that cannot be carried out from home and so you cannot work from home while self-isolating.

What is an ‘education or care setting’ for applications from parents/guardians?

An education or childcare setting is somewhere that is registered with the local authority where a child would spend most of the weekday during term-time. Schools, nurseries and care settings for 16-25 year-olds with additional support needs are included.

Things that are not covered include:

  • unregistered childcare providers
  • informal childcare arrangements
  • home-schooling and after-school/weekend/holiday activities (e.g. Scouts/Guides, sports clubs, summer camps).

This is not an exhaustive list.

Are fully vaccinated adults still eligible for the scheme?

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.

Who is eligible to apply as a parent or guardian?

People under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace – unless they have been explicitly told to by a local public health official because of an outbreak.

If an outbreak at an education and childcare setting is identified, local public health teams can take additional measures to reduce transmission, which includes asking classes to self-isolate. If this happens, and you as a parent or guardian of a child that you may have to care for at home, you may be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Some people aged 18-25 with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Their parents/guardians may retain eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if they need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.

Can I make an application after I  (or someone I care for) has finished self-isolating?

Eligible individuals can make a claim up to six weeks (42 days) after the first day of self-isolation. For example, if you started your self-isolation period on 1 November 2021, the last day on which you could make a claim would be 13 December 2021.

Can I make an application behalf of someone else?

You may apply on behalf of someone else for a Test & Trace payment; however, the £500 should be paid into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made.

For example, if a son applied on behalf of their mother, the payment would be made into the mother’s bank account.

Can I apply if I am self-isolating with symptoms, but I have not tested positive or been identified as a contact?

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is for people who are required to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or have been advised to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, either because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are not exempt from self-isolation.

You cannot apply for a payment if you are self-isolating with COVID-19 symptoms but who have not tested positive or been identified as a contact.

Can I apply if I have been told to self-isloate by someone other than NHS Test and Trace?

Normally, you cannot apply if you have not been given a valid notification to selfisolate from NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

In some rare instances, if you have been told to self-isolate while you were in hospital. In this case, your application would be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

How will daily testing for contacts impact eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

From 14 December 2021, fully vaccinated adults and young people who have been identified as the contact of a COVID-19 case should take an NHS lateral flow test every day for seven days.

The following groups are eligible to take part in daily testing if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • fully vaccinated household and non-household adult close contacts
  • contacts who have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • contacts who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • contacts who are between the ages of 5 and 18 years and 6 months.

If you are in one of the groups stated, you do not have to self-isolate, so you  – or if you are a parent or  guardian of someone in the group stated (in the case of young people) – will be ineligible for a Test & Trace support payment unless you test positive for COVID-19.

If someone is eligible for daily testing and chooses not to take part, they will not be eligible for a Test & Trace support payment.

Adult contacts who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to self-isolate, so will not be able to take part in daily testing. They will therefore be eligible for a Test & Trace support payment. The exception to this is unvaccinated adult contacts who are taking part in an approved workplace daily contact testing scheme. These contacts will not be eligible for a Test & Trace support payment unless they test positive for COVID-19.