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Test and Trace Support Payments

Payments of £500 are available if you are employed or self-employed on a low income and will lose money because you have been advised to self isolate by either the NHS Test and Trace or an educational or childcare provider if you are a parent or guardian of children who have been advised to self-isolate. 

You can make a claim up to 42 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation.

In addition to this payment there are other financial support schemes .

Who can get the Test and Trace Support Payment?

As of 16th August 2021 fully vaccinated adults and children under 18 years and 6 months will no longer be required to isolate if they are identified as a contact of a positive case, and therefore will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment. 

To be eligible for theTest and Trace Support Payment, you must:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has;
  • Be employed or self-employed;
  • Unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • You or your partner be 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.

Help for parents and guardians

Parents and guardians of children who have been advised to self-isolate by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria.

This scheme only applies to periods of self-isolation that began on or after 8 March 2021.

To be eligible you must:

  • Be a parent or guardian of a child that has been told to self-isolate either by NHS Test and Trace or by the child’s school as part of a school bubble on or after 8 March 2021.
  • Need to stay at home to look after any children in your household that have been asked to self-isolate. The child or young person who the parent or guardian is caring for was told to self-isolate and did not continue to attend their education or care setting when they should have been self-isolating.
  • Be employed or self-employed.
  • Cannot work from home and will lose income as a result.
  • Be currently receiving 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

What if you don't receive benefits?

Discretionary support may be available if you do not receive one of the benefits listed but are on a low income and will face financial hardship. However, you must still meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed or self-employed, working more than 16 hours per week and earning less than £500pw before deductions
  • You must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to stay at home. 

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for either scheme if you :

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Are in full-time education
  • Are on furlough
  • Have £6,000 or more in savings

How much is the payment and will it be taxed?

You may be supported by a lump sum payment of £500. This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

How long will this be in place for?

The scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

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.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support payment

There are two forms depending on whether you are applying as you are self-isolating, or if you are a parent or child who has been advised to self-isolate.

Self-isolation payment where you are advised to self-isolate

Use our online form to apply for the payment. This will open in a new browser. You may have to open a MyAllerdale account which will mean you will receive confirmation of your application by email.

You will be able to upload documents to accompany your application.

Before you start collate the necessary documentation. 

You will need the following information to complete the form:

  •  A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of employment, or self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.
  • Your National Insurance Number
Apply now

Self-isolation payment if you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been advised to self-isolate.

Use this form below if you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been advised to self-isolate.

You will need the following information to complete the form:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of employment, or self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Your National Insurance Number.
  • Proof of your child's 8 character test and trace account ID they have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, or official communication from the child's school (ie letter or text). 
  • For a child or young person aged between 16 and 25, you must provide evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan, and a screenshot of their NHS Covid19 app notification advising them to self-isolate

Apply now

What happens after an application has been submitted?

The government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

We will review your application and carry out the necessary checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax purposes, and NHS Test and Trace to confirm your self-isolation status.

If we are able to verify your entitlement, we will contact you to confirm when you will receive your payment.

Applicants who are overdrawn

If your nominated bank account is overdrawn, the bank is not allowed to use this payment to repay your overdraft. But you'll need to contact your bank directly as soon as possible to protect the payment. This protection is called a 'First Right of Appropriation of Funds Order'.

Tell your bank that a deposit of £500 from Allerdale Borough Council is a self-isolation payment. Here's an example of what you should say:

'On or around October 15th, my Test and Trace Support Payment will be paid into my current account number (for example, 01010101). I am exercising my first right of appropriation over these funds.'

Keep a record of any correspondence with your bank or building society in case there are any problems later. Examples of correspondence might include: letters, emails, records of live-chats (you can usually get these sent to you via email), or if you speak on the phone or in person, make notes of times and dates, the names of anyone you speak to, and what you talk about.

What are the penalties for not self-isolating?

As well as new support measures, from 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19, or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.

From this date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.