Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

Individuals may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary support payment of £500.  If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, 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 if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.

These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts to self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further restrictions. The payment will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to national insurance contributions.

The scheme started on 28 September 2020. Someone told to self-isolate on or after 28 September but before the scheme became operational on the Isle of Wight on the 12 October, will need to make a backdated claim for payment. The scheme will last until 31 January 2021.

What will happen if I don't self-isolate?

If you do not self-isolate, there is a fine of £1,000 for breaching self-isolation rules, but this could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches, including if you prevent others from self-isolating.

Eligibility for payments

Test and Trace Support Payment – main scheme

Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • 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

Local authorities can make a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result

In addition, the discretionary payment is for people:

  • 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 while they are self-isolating. An applicant must have a minimum wage of £80 per week. If you have a wage in excess of £290 per week you will not qualify

You will not be eligible under the discretionary scheme if you have capital in excess of £6,000 or you are a full time student.

You must be an island resident.

Backdating

Eligibility for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, including discretionary payments, is for people who are told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020 and who meet the relevant eligibility criteria. You must submit your claim within 14 days of the end of your isolation period.

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 Councils to make necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

General information regarding the scheme is available on the gov.uk website

 Apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme