Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme updated
On 16 August the government changed the rules on self isolation. If you are fully vaccinated or under 18.5 years, you’re not required to self isolate if you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
The government has updated the guidance to reflect the impact that self-isolation exemption has on a person’s eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.
What is the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme?
The scheme provides a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to people on low incomes who have to self-isolate because they have:
- tested positive for COVID-19; or
- been notified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and, from 16 August, they are not exempt from self isolation. This guidance sets out who is exempt
Who is eligible?
You may be eligible for a £500 payment to support you during self isolation if you live in England and 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 COVID-19; or
- have been told to stay at home and self isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and, from 16 August, you are not exempt from self isolation; and
- have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close recent contacts
- are employed or self employed
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self isolating
- are currently receiving or are the partner of someone in the same household who is 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
- Pension Credit
If you are in receipts of one of these benefits, you might still be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if all the following apply:
- you meet all the other criteria listed above
- you’re on a low income
- you will face financial hardship as a result of self isolating
How to apply
In England, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is run by local councils.
If you think you meet the eligibility criteria for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment, you can apply through your local council. You can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period.
For the application, you will need to provide:
- an NHS Test and Trace Account ID, sometimes referred to as a CTAS number
- a bank statement
- proof of employment or, if you’re self employed, evidence of tax returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services that cannot be undertaken without social contact
For more information on claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme please visit the government link below
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