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Test and Trace Support Payments

If you are struggling financially because you cannot work after being told to self-isolate, you may be able to apply for a support payment. This is a means tested payment.

Who the payments are for

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is for people on low incomes who are self-isolating, unable to work from home, on a related benefit and will have a reduction in their income and are struggling financially as a result. This does not apply if they are furloughed.

The self-isolation support payments are a one-off lump sum of £500 per person.

You must self-isolate if the NHS has told you to. This applies if you have either tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in close contact with someone who has.

Important: we are experiencing high volumes of applications, so please be patient. Emailing all the evidence required to benefits@north-herts.gov.uk will help prevent unnecessary delays. Applications received without all the evidence cannot be prioritised. Please ensure you have engaged fully with NHS Test and Trace and provide your 8 digit account ID; we cannot proceed with your application without it.

We will contact you by email. Please check your junk or spam folder if you have not heard from us within 3 working days.

If you are double vaccinated and a contact you do not need to isolate and are not eligible to apply for the self isolation payment.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • be employed or self-employed;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • 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.
  • provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a unique ID number
  • provide a bank statement; and
  • provide proof of employment, or evidence of self-assessment returns and income
  • provide proof you cannot work without social contact

University students and those in further or higher education cannot apply for the grant unless they are receiving one of the above benefits.

The scheme is set to run until 30 March 2022, and a claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. 

Discretionary fund

There is a discretionary fund for residents who do not qualify for the Test and Trace Support Payment but need financial support to self-isolate. This enables us to support people who are self isolating but fall outside of the standard scheme.

Funds for this scheme are extremely limited, so we are prioritising the most financially vulnerable applicants.

To qualify for a discretionary payment you must meet the same criteria for the standard scheme above. You also need to be on a low income, but you do not need to be in receipt of a qualifying benefit. 

You will need to:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • be employed or self-employed; Your usual pay should be less than £500 per week.
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a unique ID number
  • provide a bank statement; and
  • provide proof of employment, or evidence of self-assessment returns and income
  • provide proof you cannot work without social contact
  • have a liability to pay rent or mortgage.
  • You will be unable to apply if you have capital or savings of £16,000 or more

Details of both schemes are attached below.

To apply for the discretionary fund, complete the same Test and Trace Self-Isolation Payment form as the standard scheme.

Parent or carer needing to isolate

This payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if you will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage you to get tested if you have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions. The scheme will last until 30 March 2022.

You can apply if you meet the following criteria:

  • If you are the parent or carer of a child who has been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test, Trace, Protect service (TTP) or their school or childcare provider.
  • The child attends a school or childcare setting is under 15 or is aged between 16 and 25 and has an Education, Health and Care Plan. 
  • The child or young person who the parent or guardian is caring for was told to self-isolate and did not continue to attend their education or care setting when they should have been self-isolating.
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • 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.

Supporting evidence about the child or young person

  • the child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
  • a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive
  • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App

When to self-isolate

Those testing positive for COVID-19 are legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after first showing symptoms 

Anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts will have a legal duty to self-isolate.

Further information is available on the Coronavirus: getting a test page.

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