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COVID-19 Test and Trace Support Payments

Financial Support

We are currently experiencing high levels of demand for Test and Trace Support Payments which has caused a slight delay in the processing of applications. Be assured that you will be contacted as soon as practically possible. We appreciate your patience.

From 28th September 2020, if you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because you have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

You may also be eligible if, after 10th December 2020, you have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App. You will, however, need to have the latest version (4.0) of the NHS COVID19 App downloaded on your phone.

To be eligible for the new Test and Trace Support payment of £500, you must:

  • Comply with the NHS Test and Trace notification to self-isolate
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

To apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment, you must provide:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace instructing you to self-isolate, which includes a Unique ID number.
  • a bank statement (showing the account details into which the payment will be made).
  • proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of your trading income and proof that you deliver a service which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

If you meet the above criteria, fill in the online form or download the form to apply.

Please note this payment is subject to income tax but will not effect any Universal Credit or other benefit payments you may currently be receiving.

You are not eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if:

  • you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period), or
  • you continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate, or
  • you can work from home during your period of self-isolation, or
  • your period of isolation began prior to 28th September 2020
  • you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • you are applying 14 or more days after your period of self-isolation has ended

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment

If you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, do not receive one of the qualifying benefits outlined above, are employed or self-employed, unable to work from home, will lose income as a result of self-isolating, have savings or capital of less than £3000, are not in full time education and can demonstrate financial hardship you may still be entitled to financial support  under a special discretionary scheme. If you think you may be eligible, please apply online now or download the paper form.

If you are asked to provide evidence to support your application for a Test and Trace Support payment, please do so within a month of the request.

If you are repaying an overdraft on your bank account you can protect your payment by telling your bank it should only be used to pay your rent or utility bills.  This protection is called a “first right of appropriation of funds order”.  Find more information please see our guide.

If you apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment your personal data will be used to assess whether you are eligible. For more information, you can download the privacy notice

To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of support payments. This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating. For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, please visit the TransUnion website.

Test and Trace Support Payments for Parents and Guardians:

From 8 March 2021, if you are a parent or guardian and need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is legally required to self-isolate, you can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment.
If you meet all the following eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a lump sum payment of £500:

•    You are a parent or guardian of a child in the same household and you need to take time of work to care for them whilst they self-isolate (This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period).
•    Your child or young person:
o    is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends as education or child care setting.
o    has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. 
•    You are employed or self-employed.
•    You cannot work from home whilst undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
•    And you meet the means-tested eligibility criteria for a main Test and Trace Support Payment or for a discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment.

The information that you will be asked to provide in relation to your child or young person includes:
Details of their:
o    Name
o    Age
o    Main Address
o    Education or Care Setting and Year Group. This should include contact details for the setting (at least one of an email address and/or phone number)
o    First day of self-isolation
o    Education, Health and Care Plan, if applicable.

We will also ask to see the following supporting evidence about your child or young person:
o    Your child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate. 
Or
o    a communication from your child’s or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive 
Or
o    a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App. 

Further information can be found on the gov.uk website:

 

Test and Trace Payment Scheme 

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There is also further guidance for help or support during your period of self-isolation on the Northamptonshire County Council website.