Financial support for self-isolating
Test and Trace support update
From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible to receive a Test and Trace Support Payment from this date (unless they test positive, at which point they would then become eligible).
From this date, anyone under 18 who is a close contact will also be exempt from self-isolation. This means that parents and guardians will no longer be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a close contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. However as children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians may still be eligible, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated.Test and Trace support payment application form
If you are a worker on a low income and need to self-isolate but can't work from home, you can apply for a self-isolation payment.
The Test & Trace Payment Schemes, both Main and Discretionary, are still available until 30 September 2021 with Government funding being allocated on a monthly basis.
Test and Trace Standard Support Payment Scheme
Do I qualify?
The qualifying criteria are:
- You 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 tested positive
- You are employed or self-employed
- You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to self isolate. We will require proof of your loss/reduction in income. If you are employed then confirmation from your employer that you will not be on full pay during the isolation period would be sufficient; if you are self employed then we require trading statements, invoices or copies of your order books to show that you were actively trading in the period before you were asked to self-isolate. If you cannot provide proof of loss of income as a direct result of having to self isolate then you will not qualify for the scheme.
- You are 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.
Test and Trace Discretionary Payment Scheme
Do I qualify?
If you meet the above Standard Support Payment Scheme criteria but are not on one of the qualifying benefits listed you may be entitled to a payment under the discretionary scheme.
You must also:
- have a normal gross weekly pay (before tax) of between £130 and £450 (We will require proof of this income prior to awarding any payment under the discretionary scheme. If your pay is outside of these amounts you will not be eligible for a discretionary payment.)
- not hold more than £10,000 in capital. By capital we mean any money held in any form, for example bank/building society accounts, shares, investments, etc. (If your capital exceeds £10,000 you will not be eligible for a discretionary payment.)
For what period can I apply?
For anyone told to self-isolate on or after the 28 September 2020 you will be able to apply to receive this payment within two weeks of your period of self-isolation ending. Between the 28 September and our system going live we will back date the payments.
You can only apply for periods of self-isolation that started on or after 28 September 2020.
How do I apply?
You can apply by using the online form.
How much can I claim?
From 28 September 2020, new cases will be entitled to a payment of £500.
Can I claim for the same scheme more than once?
Yes, provided you meet the eligibility criteria on each occasion for which you are claiming doesn't overlap with a previous self-isolation period.
You will not be entitled to apply for a payment under Test and Trace Standard Support Payment Scheme and the Test and Trace Discretionary Payment Scheme.
Can multiple claims from households be submitted?
Yes, provided each applicant meets the relevant criteria.
The guidelines suggest there must be a positive contact from Test & Trace to qualify for payment, what if someone hasn't been contacted, but are self-isolating?
Eligibility for payment applies only where someone has been formally notified to self-isolate, either because they have received a positive test result or because a person who has tested positive has identified them as a contact.
This does put the responsibility on people who have tested positive to share accurate information about their recent contacts. We are unable to pay someone who has simply been told by a friend that they should self-isolate, without that friend having formally notified Test and Trace.
The payments also do not apply to people isolating because they or another member of their household has symptoms.
What if I am furloughed and self-isolating?
You will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Payment Schemes. You will need to provide a declaration that you are losing income as direct result of self-isolating because you are unable to work. There will be post-payment verification checks with employers, which could include checking you were not furloughed during the self-isolation period.
Is there a time limit to apply?
You can apply for the payment up to 42 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation.
How long will it take the council to process applications?
Provided you meet the criteria and have provided all the evidence requested, we aim to process and get the payment to you as soon as possible.
How long will the schemes last for?
The scheme has been extended to run until the end of March 2022.
Right to Appropriation of the funds
If your account is overdrawn you may request first right of appropriation from your bank/building society. This is a formal request to your bank/building society to not use the funds to pay overdraft fees.
Please be advised if you make a first right of appropriation request your bank can make a decision to either freeze your account and/or remove an overdraft facility if you have one. You need to make sure that you can manage either or both of these situations before you make the request.
If you intend to make a first right of appropriation request we will need confirmation that a letter has been sent to your bank before we will authorise the payment to you. Please note this will mean a delay in making the payment.