Due to the high number of applications we are receiving, it may take us up to eight working days to make a decision on your Test and Trace Support Scheme application.
COVID-19 - Test and Trace Support Scheme
Updated 7 April 2021
Test and Trace Support Payments are for people on a low income who have been told to self-isolate and may face financial difficulty because of taking time off work.
The scheme started on 28 September 2020 and will end on 30 June 2021. The scheme is split into a Main Scheme (for people getting a benefit listed below) and a Discretionary Scheme (for people on a low income not getting one of the listed benefits).
From 8 March 2021, the scheme was expanded to include parents and guardians of children (aged 15 or under, or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) who have been told to self-isolate by their childcare setting.
Who is eligible for a payment?
To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must either:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or
- your child has been told to isolate by their childcare setting and you have to take time off work to care for them.
You must also:
- be employed or self-employed, and
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
- be aged 16 or over, and
- be 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, or your normal net weekly earned income is less than £500.
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for payment if:
- you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate (unless it is your child who has been told to self-isolate)
- you can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you are still required to self-isolate after that date
- your child’s period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme expanded on 8 March 2021, even if they are still required to self-isolate after that date
- you will receive full pay from your employer during your self-isolation
- you are on full-time furlough
- you start an additional period of isolation before the previous one ends
Before you start your application
You will need the following information to make an application:
- your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID Number - we cannot issue a payment without this (unless it is your child who is self-isolating)
- your National Insurance number
- your bank details
- a copy of your latest bank statement (this needs to have your name, address, sort code and account number visible)
- proof of earnings, such as a pay slip (one issued within the last month)
- proof of self-employment - for example, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns.
- proof of the child’s self-isolation, such as a letter or email from their childcare setting.
Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to tax but exempt from any National Insurance contribution, and they do not count as income for benefit purposes.
You will be required to consent to us verifying your loss of income, this may be by contacting your employer.
Payments may be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence as requested when submitting your application.
Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?
You can help someone else fill out an application, or fill out an application on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else. Payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
What happens next?
Once you have submitted your completed application and supporting evidence we will carry out the necessary checks to confirm you are eligible for a payment. If you are eligible, we will let you know when you will receive your payment.
If I receive a support payment what am I required to do?
You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.
The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone:
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace, and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action, as may any grants paid in error.
The Government is supporting us to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly. These checks include using a credit reference agency to validate the bank account details you have provided.
How do I apply?
To apply for a support payment you will need to complete the application form below and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. No application can be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number unless you are applying as a parent or guardian of a child who is self-isolating.
You can make an application up to 42 days after your or your child’s period of self-isolation starts. For example, if you are told to self-isolate from 8 March 2021, you have until 18 April 2021 to make your application.
Please note: you will not be able to complete the application form using Internet Explorer. You will need to use a more modern browser, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox or Safari.
Due to the high number of applications we are receiving, it may take us up to eight working days to make a decision on your application.
If you cannot use our online application form, please call 01442 228894. We will complete the application form with you over the phone and then arrange for a Council Officer to come and take photos of the evidence. Evidence can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.