If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.
Also, 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. This is for if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who 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 and 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.
From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment from 16 August 2021 unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible.
Also, from 16 August 2021, anyone under 18 years and six months who is a contact will also be exempt from self-isolation. This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians will still be eligible, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child).
The Scheme will end on 31 March 2022.
What are Test and Trace Support Payments?
Individuals may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary support payment of £500. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App and will lose income as a result. From 8 March 2021 you may also apply for a payment if 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.
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. If you are self-employed you should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.
Who is eligible?
Residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate or 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 will be entitled to a self-isolation payment providing they:
- Comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
- Are employed or self-employed
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- Are in receipt of one of the following benefits *
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
* If you are not currently receiving one of the above benefits unfortunately, you do not meet the criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment. However, you can be considered for a discretionary payment if:
- you have less than £6,000 capital
- you normally work for 16 hours or more per week
- your avergae grossly weekly pay is less than £500**, and
- you are responsible for paying housing costs such as a domestic mortgage or rent, or you have significnat existing financial commitments**
** Revised criteria applicable to claims made on or after 11 October 2021
How are claims made?
Please complete our online form. If you are unable to apply online please telephone 01246 242396 for further guidance.