Test and Trace self-isolation support payments

 Eligibility changes from 16 August 2021

People identified as a contact

People who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means that from 16 August 2021 fully vaccinated contacts will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment (unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible).

Parent and Guardian applications

Anyone under 18 who is a contact will be exempt from self-isolation. This means that from 16 August 2021 parents and guardians will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. 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 (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child).

Young person under 25

If a young person aged under 25 has been identified as a close contact and they have an Education, Health and Care plan, their parents or guardians may be eligible if they need to stay at home to look after them

 You may be able to get a self-isolation support payment of £500 if either:

  • you have been told to self-isolate because of coronavirus
  • you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate from 8 March 2021, and you need to take unpaid time off work to look after them

You need to claim within 42 days of the first day of the self-isolation period.

This scheme will last until 31st March 2022.

If you are employed and receive benefits

If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace you can apply for the payment if you’ll lose income because you cannot work from home.

You must be either employed or self-employed.

You, or the partner you live with, must receive 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

You must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a Test and Trace account ID.

If you are employed, but do not receive benefits

If you meet all the other eligibility criteria but do not receive benefits, you may be entitled to a discretionary payment.

You can apply for this payment if you live in Trafford and you can demonstrate financial hardship as a direct result of not being able to work whilst self-isolating. You will need to provide evidence of this with your application.

If your child needs to self-isolate

You may be able to get a payment if you need to take time off work to look after your child and you cannot work from home. To be eligible, your child must:

  • be 15 or under, or 25 or under if they have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
  • live with you
  • normally be at school or in childcare
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, the NHS COVID-19 app or their education or childcare setting

You will still need to meet the other eligibility criteria.

You will also need evidence that your child has been told to self-isolate.

Members of the same household

People in the same household can make individual applications to receive the payment if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

Who is not eligible

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ended before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020)
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 App telling you to self-isolate.

Applying for someone else

You can help someone else fill out an application, or you can fill out an application on their behalf. The payment will only be made into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made.

Income Tax

If you receive the payment you will not be taxed on it straight away, but will be contacted by HMRC at a later date. The payment will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

If you're employed and your income is no more than £12000, you will not have to pay tax. If you do need to pay tax, HMRC will automatically recover it from your pay through a change in your tax code.

If you're self-employed, the payment will contribute to your profits and will need to be included on your self-assessment tax return along with any other coronavirus support payments you receive.

This support payment is subject to tax.

Existing benefit entitlements

The payment does not affect existing entitlements to:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit

The payment will also be disregarded as income for the purposes of tax credits.

Statutory Sick Pay

You can claim Statutory Sick Pay as well as the self-isolation support payment. You cannot claim contractual sick pay from your employer.

Employers can claim Statutory Sick Pay Reimbursement for those employees self-isolating.

If your bank account is overdrawn

If you're eligible for the £500 support payment, you can tell your bank that the payment you receive should only be used to pay certain items. For example, utility bills, rent or mortgage, and that it is not to be used to repay your overdraft. As soon as your payment has been approved, write to your bank making it clear what you want your support payment to be used for.

If you want to find out more about how the NHS COVID-19 App works you can watch this video, alternatively you can contact the national NHS Test and Trace team on 119.

To apply, you will need to complete an application for a Test and Trace Support self-isolation payment.