Coronavirus - Financial help for individuals

Test and Trace Isolation Payments

Scheme Update

From 16 August 2021 the rules on self-isolation will change. Close contacts who are fully vaccinated will not be required to self-isolate. This will apply where an adult has been fully vaccinated in the UK. Anyone under 18 years will also be exempt from self-isolation if they are a contact. Therefore, the eligibility criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme (TTSP) have changed.


If you are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because:
• you have tested positive for COVID-19
• you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19
You may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.


Eligibility for payments

Main scheme payment


Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who:
• have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated
•  Have fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace to provide any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
• Have been provided with a unique 8 Digit ID provided by the NHS Test & Trace
• 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


Discretionary payment


We can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who:
• have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated
• Have fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace to provide any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
• Have been provided with a unique 8 Digit ID provided by the NHS Test & Trace
• are employed or self-employed
• are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
• 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
• who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work

These include:

• in receipt of Council Tax Reduction or Child Tax Credit and therefore has already demonstrated the need for support prior to this additional loss of income, or
• have an Attachment of Benefit, Attachment of Earnings, debit relief, or County Court Judgment that already demonstrates the need for financial support prior to this additional loss of income, or
• have less than £8000 in capital, and
• have gross earnings less than £20,000 as a single person or £40,000 as a couple who are married, civil partners or live together as partners, and
• is liable to make rent payments under a formal agreement or mortgage payments for the home they live in, or   
• has demonstrated other debts and/or rent arrears that demonstrate the need for financial support prior to this additional loss of income, or
• have other members in the family household that are also self-isolating and receiving a loss in income, demonstrating an overall hardship to the family household

Parental or guardian payment


Eligibility for a £500 parent or guardian Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who:
• 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.
• a child or young person is:
o is aged 15 or under and has tested positive for COVID-19 and been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education setting
o Is aged 18-25 (with an Education Health and Care Plan) and normally attends an education setting who tests positive for COVID-19 and been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education setting
• are employed or self-employed
• are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
• meet all means-tested eligibility criteria for a main scheme or discretionary payment
If you can evidence all of the above and wish to make a claim, please apply via our Grant Approval Portal. Please ensure you have all your documents ready to upload before you start the application process.
You will not be eligible for this scheme if you:
• are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 10-day quarantine period)
• continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
• can work from home during a period of self-isolation
• have a loss of pay due to being furloughed
• have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.


Click to watch a 5 minute video on How to apply
Grant Approval Portal


Multiple claims


People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria. Government guidance states the payments will only be eligible for positive diagnosis from 28 September onwards (not before). Eligible people will be able to claim for each separate period of self-isolation.

Payment and Tax
You will receive this payment via BACS transfer. This payment will be for £500 and is subject to tax. However, you will not be taxed at the point of payment and will be contacted by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at a later date. We will send payment within 3 days of your verified claim.

Applicants who are overdrawn
We will support customers in making sure this payment is not used by the bank to clear any overdraft due.
If you are unable to use the online application process you can call 0300 3307000 to arrange for a member of our team to support, you in your application.
 
Important Information
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.

Backdating payment
You have 42 days from the first date of your self-isolation period to make an application, we are unable to accept applications made after that date.

Appeal Rights
The council will write to the customer to confirm the decision but as this is discretionary there are no appeal rights to an Independent Tribunal. But the customer can ask the council to look at their case again if they are not happy with the outcome of their request. This would need to be made in writing, stating the reasons you are asking for a review of the decision and be signed and dated.

Review Requests should then be sent to [email protected] and it will then be dealt with by a Senior Benefits Officer/Manager and the outcome notified in writing within 28 days.


Fraud
You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.
The Government is supporting Local Authorities to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.