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Test and Trace Payment Scheme

People on low incomes who have had to self-isolate and have been unable to work due to Coronavirus may be eligible for a £500 payment

Money

About the scheme

The Government has introduced a Test and Trace Support Payment scheme to support people on low incomes if they can't work during their self-isolation period. 

As part of the scheme, eligible people will receive a £500 lump sum payment.

Self-isolating is very important as it helps prevent family, friends and the community from contracting coronavirus. It also protects the health and care system.

This scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

More information is available on the gov.uk website.

Eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment

You are eligible for the Test and Trace Support payment if you meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because:
    • you've tested positive for coronavirus; or
    • you've recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you are over the age of 18 and have not been double vaccinated;
  • you must have engaged with NHS Test & Trace by completing the contact tracing journey within your Test & Trace notification;
  • you are employed or self-employed;
  • you are unable to work from home;
  • you are currently receiving at least 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; and/or
    • Pension Credit

Payments for Parents or Guardians

From 16 August 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Self-Isolation Payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

Applications can be made if your child has tested positive or your child is aged between 18 and 25 and has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) and is a close contact of someone who has tested positive.

You can only make one application per child or young person per household.

To qualify for this payment, you must:

  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be 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
    • OR have a household income of less that £37,400 (couple or single parents) or £19,200 (single person) and have savings of less than £3,000

In addition to this you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The parent or guardian must be in the same household as the child or young person and needs to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate
  • The child or young person who normally attends an education or childcare setting must be either:
    • aged 15 or under
    • aged between 16 and 25 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)
  • The child or young person has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or by their education or childcare setting - this can be evidenced by providing either:
    • the child's 8-digit Test and Trace ID number - for ages 15 and under
    • a communication from the child or young person's education or childcare setting to confirm that they have to self-isolate
    • a screenshot of a young person's NHS COVID-19 app notification to confirm they need to self-isolate and proof of an EHC - for ages 16 to 25

Payment amount

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.

Payments are subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

Apply for Test and Trace Support Payment

You are entitled to the payment if you meet the eligibility criteria and have been asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

When completing your application form you will need to submit the following evidence:

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

What help can individuals get if they are not eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?

Local residents required to self isolate but who do not fulfil all the requirements of the Test and Trace payment scheme may be able to get other support.

The Discretionary Scheme

You may be eligible for the £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other criteria above, but:

  • you do not currently receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and are employed or self-employed; and

  • you face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

  • you have a household income of less than £37,400 (couples or single parents) or £19,200 (single person) and have savings of less than £3,000

This application is for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual. Any claim must be made within 42 days from the first day of your NHS test and trace self-isolation period.

Apply for Discretionary Payment

When completing your application form you will need to submit the following evidence:

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

For both the Test and Trace Support Payment and discretionary payments, eligible individuals will receive their £500 payment on top of any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) that they currently receive.

If an individual is not successful for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or the Discretionary fund there is no right of appeal

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Covid 19 Hardship Fund

If you apply for a Test and Trace Support payment but are unsuccessful you may also be considered for a Covid 19 hardship payment.

If you have been contacted by NHS test and trace and told to self-isolate but are not eligible for a £500 support payment as you do not meet the other criteria, you could receive a hardship payment of up to £500.

Hardship payments are based on the needs of each individual case and are intended to help cover a loss of income or additional expenses that you are unable to meet yourself, for example accommodation costs or increased costs of providing care to someone.

Apply for Hardship Fund

Other sources of help 

If you don't meet the eligibility criteria, there may be other discretionary hardship funds that could help you. Please call our Coronavirus Community Hub on 01354 654321 for more information.

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