What the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme is
The government has set up a Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.
The government hopes the support payments will:
- Help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period.
- Encourage you to get tested if you have symptoms.
- Help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further restrictions.
The scheme is available from Monday, 28 September 2020 - Sunday, 31 January 2021.
£500 support payment: people in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if you each meet all the following criteria:
- You have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace service, either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive on or after Monday, 28 September 2020. You must also have an 8 digit number from NHS Test and Trace to be eligible.
- If you've only received a notification on the NHS COVID-19 App, you're not eligible. You will only be eligible if you've also been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, and given an 8 digit number.
- You're employed (including if you've been furloughed) or self-employed.
- You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
- You currently receive at least one of the following qualifying benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.
£500 discretionary support payment: if you're not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits, you may be able to receive a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other above criteria and both of the following criteria:
You're on a low income.
You have to pay rent or a mortgage for the property you live in.
You may also be eligible if you meet all the criteria but are not yet in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits as you're waiting for the outcome of a claim from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).
You're not entitled to a support payment if any of the following apply:
- You were told to self-isolate before Monday, 28 September 2020, even if your self-isolation period continues after Monday, 28 September 2020.
- You haven't been told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service. This includes if you've returned to the UK from abroad
or you've been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19 but you haven't been named as a close contact.
- You can work from home or will continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
- If you are self-isolating and later find out you were eligible for a benefit that would have qualified you for the Test and Trace Support Payment as you cannot make a retrospective claim.
What you'll get
If you're eligible, you'll receive a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment on top of any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) you currently receive.
How you're paid
The £500 will be paid directly into your bank account. If you're applying on behalf of someone else, it must be paid into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made.
How to claim a Test and Trace Support Payment
You can claim a support payment:
- Up to 14 days after your self-isolation period ends.
- Each time you're told to self-isolate, as long as you're eligible and your self-isolation periods does not overlap with a previous self-isolation period.
You may be entitled to other support.
Receiving payment when not entitled
We have the right to recover any payments made, if we discover a claim has been made fraudulently.