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Test and Trace Support Payment information

Test and Trace Support Payment information

Support payments for people claiming benefits

You are entitled to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you:

  • Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, but you are not fully vaccinated

and you:

  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts
  • 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

If you are a parent or guardian, whose child (aged 15 or under or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) has to self-isolate, you may be eligible for a ‘main’ payment. Read the 'Frequently Asked Questions' section below, for criteria.

Discretionary payments for people not claiming benefits

If you meet all the above criteria but do not receive one of the named benefits, you may be entitled to a discretionary payment. If you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating you can apply for a discretionary payment.

Who is not eligible to apply?

You will not be eligible to a payment from this scheme if you:

  • Are a fully vaccinated adult and identified as a contact case only
  • Are under 18 years old and identified as a contact case only
  • 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
  • Ended your period of self-isolation before the scheme was launched on 28 September 2020
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • Receive full occupational sick pay      
         

When will I receive payment?

All payments should be made within 3 days of receiving an eligible application.

How long will Test and Trace Payments be available for?

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme is expected to end on 31 March 2022.

Other support available

If you are suffering financial loss due to self-isolating you may be able to receive other forms of help. For more details:

You may be able to get additional help with housing costs if you are in receipt of Housing Benefit or Universal Credit. Read our Discretionary Housing Payments page for more details.

If you have any Test and Trace enquiries, complaints or self-isolation disputes, call the Test and Trace Enquiries and Complaints Service on 119.

I've been furloughed. Can I claim?

No. The Test and Trace Support Payment is for people facing a loss of income because they can't work while self-isolating. Payment cannot be made to applicants whose income is lower than normal because they have been furloughed.

How much is the payment?

The payment is £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.

Will these payments be taxed?

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on your payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you’re self-employed, you must report the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

What if my child has to self-isolate?

If you're a parent or guardian, whose child (aged 15 or under or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) has to self-isolate, you may be eligible for a main or discretionary payment if you meet the following criteria (even if you're fully vaccinated):

  • You're the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them
  • You're unable to work from home and will lose income.
  • The young person has tested positive for Covid-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or they have been identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS Covid-19 app), is aged 18 to 25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan
  • The young person normally attends an education or care setting, and
  • You meet all the other criteria for a 'main' payment

I'm quarantining after returning to the UK. Can I claim?

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Can I make a claim on behalf of someone else?

Yes. You can make a claim for someone who does not have access to the internet. However, the £500 must be paid into a bank account of the person who the claim is for. Alternatively, the applicant can call us on 0118 974 6000.

Can I make a claim after my self-isolation period?

Yes, applications can be made up to 42 days after the period of self-isolation has ended but will not be accepted after this date.

I’m overdrawn. Can my bank use this money to go towards my overdraft?

No, banks are not allowed to use this payment to repay an overdraft.

You can protect it by telling your bank it should only be used to pay other payments you have already set up. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.

You will need to tell your bank how to use these payments before the payment is made.

How do I request a first right of appropriation of funds order?

You will need to write to your bank letting them know. For example, you may want to instruct your bank or building society:

'On or around 17th October a payment of £500 from Wokingham Borough Council will be paid into my current account number 12345678. I am exercising my first right of appropriation over these funds and wish you to pay the following items from it: 

£275 direct debit payable to my landlord, Mr. Jones on the 25th of the month

£50 direct debit to electric/gas on 27th of the month'

Keep a copy of the letter in case there is any dispute later. You may want to ask your bank/building society for a written acknowledgement of your instructions.

For people claiming benefits

If you're 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, apply for Test and Trace Support Payments

If you're not in receipt of these benefits, see below to apply for our discretionary scheme.

  Apply for Test and Trace Support Payments

 

For people who aren't claiming benefits

If you're not currently claiming any benefits, complete the form below to apply for Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments

Apply for Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments

 

 

   

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