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Test and Trace Support Payment: Eligibility

Contents

  1. Overview
  2. Eligibility
  3. How to apply
  4. If you need to apply more than once
  5. Other support

Eligibility

Changes to eligibility from Monday 16 August

From Monday 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated or under 18 do not need to self-isolate after close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

From 16 August, you are not eligible for Test and Trace Support Payments if: 

  • you are fully vaccinated and a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 (as you will not need to isolate)
  • you are a parent or guardian of a child who is a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 (as the child will no longer need to isolate)

From 16 August, you are still eligible if: 

  • you test positive for COVID-19 (even if you're fully vaccinated)
  • you are a parent or guardian of a child who tests positive for COVID-19

If you are a parent or guardian of someone aged under 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan, who is a close contact of someone who has COVID-19, you may be eligible if you need to stay at home to look after them.

Eligibility criteria

If you meet all of the following eligibility criteria, you are entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500:

  • You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. This could be either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive,
  • You are employed or self-employed,
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • You currently get 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

If you don't get these benefits

If you don't get these benefits, but you do meet the rest of the criteria, you may be entitled to a Discretionary Payment. 

You will need to prove you will face financial hardship because you are unable to work while you are self-isolating.

Parents and guardians caring for a child or young person who needs to self-isolate

Parents or guardians who do not legally need to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who needs to self-isolate.

Applicants must meet all the criteria below:

  • they 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
  • they are employed or self-employed
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment
  • their child or young person:
    • is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
    • 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

Applicants will need to provide either:

  • the 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
  • a communication from the child 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
  • 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

We cannot accept applications without at least one of the three pieces of supporting evidence listed above.

Losing income

Example 1

You have a single job and your employer continues to pay you your normal wage while you self-isolate.

You would not be eligible because you have not lost income.

Example 2

You have a single job and your employer pays you a reduced wage while you self-isolate.

You would be eligible because you will lose income (providing you meet the other criteria above).

Example 3

You have two part-time jobs. One employer pays you your normal wage, but your other employer does not pay you while you self-isolate.

You would be eligible because you will lose income (providing you meet the other criteria above).

You will not be entitled to support if:

  • you are self-isolating because you have returned to the UK from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus, or you have have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

 

Next page: How to apply

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