If you've been told to self-isolate you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment. From the 8th March 2021 the Test and Trace support payment is being extended for parents or guardians who need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who has to self-isolate.
There is now a legal duty on people to self-isolate if someone tests positive or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace.
If you're on a low income and cannot work during self-isolation or because your child or young person needs to self-isolate, you may be able to access a lump sum Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, which will be paid directly into your bank account.
This payment is subject to tax, but you will not be taxed at the point of payment and will be contacted by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at a later date.
The scheme will run from the 28th September 2020 to the end of summer 2021.
When to make a claim
You can only make a claim for the support payment if you have been asked to self-isolate on or after the 28th September 2020 or on or after the 8th March 2021 if you are a parent or guardian of a child required to self-isolate - find out about other welfare support available.
You can make a claim up to 42 days from the start of your period of self-isolation. We are unable to accept applications made after this point.
Each application is for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual. Only one parent or guardian can claim for the child or young person who is self-isolating.
Are you eligible?
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You live in the borough of Wigan (if you don't live in Wigan borough, you must apply to your own local authority)
- You were asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who tested positive
- You are employed or self-employed
- You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- You are currently receiving one or more of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit.
If you do not receive one of the qualifying benefits, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment.
To be eligible as the parent of a child or young person you must meet all of the above criteria except you do not need to have been asked to self-isolate.
In addition your child/young person must have been asked to self-isolate via the NHS or by the education or caring establishment they attend.
You will need to provide evidence to support your claim, which may include:
- Notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this should include a unique 8-digit ID number)
- Proof you are claiming a qualifying benefit
- Proof of your bank account for payment e.g. your most recent bank statement
- Proof of income e.g. a copy of a recent wage slip
- If you are self-employed, we need to see evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
- If you are applying as a parent or guardian
- Proof of the NHS App and the Education Health Care Plan for a young person aged 16-24
- Proof from the education or care setting where the child attends that they have been asked to self -isolate
- Checks will be made directly with the education or care setting establishment to confirm that they have been asked to self-isolate.
Not eligible? You may be able to apply for the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment
If you have met all of the eligibility criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment, but do not receive one of the qualifying benefits and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work because you need to self-isolate, or because your child or young person needs to self-isolate then you may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment.
To apply for Wigan’s Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment, you must complete the normal Test and Trace Support Payment form.
There is no separate form to complete and evidence and information will be gathered to allow you to be considered for both schemes.
Are you eligible for a discretionary payment?
We will consider making a £500 discretionary payment to individuals who:
- Have been told to stay home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or are absent from work to look after a child or young person that has been asked to self-isolate
- Are employed or self-employed
- Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
In addition, the discretionary payment is for people who:
- Have property related costs e.g. rent/mortgage and are liable for Council Tax (occupied properties only). We may consider applications from those who are not liable for Council Tax where a formal tenancy agreement is in place
- 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
- Are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating
- Have no recourse to public funds if they meet the criteria above.
How to make a claim
To make a claim for the Test and Trace Support Payment or the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment, you will need to:
Please note that you can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment and the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment as many times as you are asked to isolate, or your child/young person has been asked to self-isolate as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.