Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

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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. Children 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.

The one-off payments of £500 are not loans, so they are not expected to be repaid. They will be subject to income tax but not national insurance contributions.

The scheme will last until 31 March 2022.

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
  • 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
  • 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

An applicant must have a minimum wage of £80 per week. If you have a wage more than £400 per week you will not qualify.

You are not eligible for the discretionary scheme if you have capital of more than £6,000 or you are a full-time student.

You must be an island resident.

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.
  • 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
  • has a child or young person who:
    • 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
    • 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
    • Is aged 18-25 (with an Education, Health and Care Plan) and normally attends an education setting who has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education setting of the NHS COVID-19 app) and is not fully vaccinated
    • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting

People who are furloughed

If you are furloughed you will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

How to apply

To apply you will need to register with NHS Test and Trace and provide us with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID. This is an eight digit code that is sometimes also referred to as a CTAS number. More information can be found in the guidance for applying for an NHS Test and Trace ID number.

When to apply

You must submit your claim within 42 days of the start of your isolation period.

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you have falsified your position to get these payments. This includes failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made because of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error. The government is supporting us to make necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

The government provides further information regarding the scheme.

Apply for the test and trace support payment scheme