Test and Trace Support Payment - frequently asked questions
How to apply
If you think you might be eligible for a payment, you can apply online: Test and Trace Support Payment application form. Please make sure you have read and understood the criteria before you start filling in the form to make sure you are eligible. Visit our Test and Trace Support Payment page.
Evidence and information needed to apply for the payment
All applicants must provide:
a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate. You will need to supply the number given to you by the NHS Test and Trace Service which is a unique 8 digit reference number. You won’t be able to make an application without this.
• proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (see below);
• a bank statement, and
• proof of employment or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment tax returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
Once all evidence has been checked, the council will make the one-off £500 payment.
Oher options if you are not eligible
In some circumstances, some people may be eligible for a payment from the discretionary fund. This fund is for people who meet all of the criteria except that they aren’t currently receiving benefits because their benefits application is still being processed. They must still be eligible for one of the qualifying benefits, which are:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit and/or
- Pension Credit
The award is also a £500 one-off payment.
Is the payment taxable?
The payment will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. This is the case for any payment awarded under the Test and Trace scheme.
When can I expect to receive my payment?
You should receive your payment within three working days of the council confirming that your application is successful.
Can I make a claim after my self-isolation period has ended?
You can make an application up to 14 days after your self-isolation period has ended.
Can more than one member of the household make a claim?
Can someone else help me to apply?
Yes, you can ask a trusted family member or friend to help you to apply, but the payment will be paid into your bank account. You can also call the council and ask a member of the Customer Services team to help you apply over the phone. In this case, you will need to post the evidence to the Test and Trace Support Payment Team so it can be scanned and loaded onto the system. Alternatively, you can email the documents to firstname.lastname@example.org. Where this is the case, your application will be delayed whilst the documents are processed. We therefore recommend that you apply online if possible.
The postal address for sending evidence in support of your application is:
Test and Trace Support Payment Team
St Nicholas Street
Please ensure that your name, address and unique reference number from the application form is provided so that the documentation can be easily matched to your online application.
What if I’m overdrawn? Will my payment go towards paying back my overdraft?
If your bank account is overdrawn, you can contact your bank to tell them that you will be receiving this payment and that you would like to exercise your first right of appropriation of funds. This means that the bank may not use this payment to reduce your overdraft if this money is required for essential living expenses. Your bank will be able to provide you with further information and guidance. It is up to the bank to decide what to do in this situation.
What if I don’t agree with the award decision?
There is no right of appeal. If your application is turned down, it is because it did not meet the criteria. This is the same for the discretionary payment scheme.
What happens if I receive my payment and then decide not to self-isolate?
If the council becomes aware that you have not completed your full period of self-isolation, then the Police may be notified.
What if my application isn’t eligible?
Other support is available for people who don’t meet the criteria for this scheme, but are still facing financial difficulty.
A phone line has been launched in Suffolk to help people across the county access information or support relating to debt, benefits, housing or employment. The phone line, 0800 068 3131, is open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. This support service is in response to the financial impact that COVID-19 has had, and continues to have, on individuals and families across Suffolk.