Test and Trace Support Payment

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.

From 16th August 2021 you are no longer required to self-isolate if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID 19 and you are fully vaccinated. This means that if you, or if applying for your child, your child has not tested positive you will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment.

There is a legal duty on people to self-isolate if someone tests positive, or is identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace and has not been fully vaccinated.

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.

Please be advised if you are isolating or in quarantine as a result of travelling abroad, you will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment, unless you are later told to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace, as a result of testing positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated.

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 30th September 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?

For isolation periods starting from 16th August 2021 to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, because you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and are not fully vaccinated.
  • You have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call) in which they provided their contact details and where they have tested positive, the details of their contacts
  • 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.
  • You live in the borough of Wigan (if you don’t live in Wigan borough, you must apply to your own local authority).

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 under 15 or a young person 25 or under with an Education Health Care Plan, you must meet all of the above criteria except you do not need to have been asked to self-isolate, or to engage with the contact tracing process.

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 can also apply as the parent or guardian of a young person aged 18-25 who has an Education Health Care Plan, who has been identified as a close contact of someone tested positive to COVID-19 and who are not themselves fully vaccinated.

Supporting information

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, this must have your name visible
  • 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, if the isolation period begins before 16th August 2021
    • 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?

For isolation periods starting from 16th August 2021 to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, because you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and are not fully vaccinated.
  • You have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call) in which they provided their contact details and where they have tested positive, the details of their contacts
  • 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:

  • 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.

To be eligible as the parent of a child under 15, or young person 25 or under with an Education Health Care Plan, you must meet all of the above criteria except you do not need to have been asked to self-isolate, or to engage with the contact tracing process.

In addition your child/young person must have tested positive and asked to self-isolate via the NHS and attends an education or care setting.

You can also apply as the parent or guardian of a young person aged 18-25 who has an Education Health Care Plan, who has been identified as a close contact of someone tested positive to COVID-19 and who are not themselves fully vaccinated.

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.

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