Test and Trace Support Payment

Government have announced a new financial package to support and enforce self-isolation.

Surrey Heath will be delivering financial support for those self-isolating as part of this Government funded scheme who live in the Surrey Heath Borough Council area.

In certain circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate from 28 September 2020 or identified as a close contact by the NHS covid-19 app from 10 December 2020, you may be supported by a payment of £500.00.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, an individual must meet all the following:

  • 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
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
  • be 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.

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is.

Applicants must meet all the criteria below:

  • they are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • they are employed or self-employed.
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
  • their child or young person: is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
  • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Backdating

The child or young person must have been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021. Applications can be backdated to this point and the parent or guardian will be eligible for the payment if they meet all the other eligibility criteria (for the main scheme or the discretionary scheme).

Applications from members of the same household

Parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can make one application per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.

People in the same household who are applying because they are legally required to self-isolate can make an individual application to receive the payment. Each person will need to meet the eligibility criteria, as set out in Section 3 ‘Eligibility for payments’ of The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme: Implementation Guide for Local Authorities in England. 

Applications made after someone’s period of self-isolation has ended

Claims made by parents and guardians can be made up to six weeks (42 days) after the child or young person’s first day of self-isolation. For example, if a child or young person was told to self-isolate on 8 March, their parent or guardian must apply by 19 April. Local authorities should not accept retrospective applications after the 42-day cut-off.

I am quarantining after returning to the UK, can I claim?

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

I have been furloughed can I claim?

The Test and Trace Support Payment is for people facing a reduction in income because they cannot work while self-isolating. Payment cannot be made applicants whose income is lower than normal because they are furloughed. 

How much is the payment?

Individuals  who  are  required  to  self-isolate  and  who  meet  the  benefits-linked  eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.

Will these payments be taxed?

These payments will be subject to income tax.  They will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. 

How long will this be in place for?

The scheme will run until 31 March 2021.

How do I claim a payment?

If you have been told to self-isolate from 28 September 2020 or identified as a close contact by the NHS covid-19 app from 10 December 2020, or are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off to care for them while they self-isolate from 8 March 2021, and you think you may be eligible please complete our online claim form.

If you are reading this for someone who does not have access to the internet you can make the claim online on their behalf or the applicant can telephone the Benefits Team at Surrey Heath 01276 707100.

Applications can be made up to 42 days after the period of self-isolation has ended. Claims will not be accepted after this date.

For more information about how we use your data, view the Test and Trace Self-Isolation Payment Privacy Notice.