Test and Trace Support Payment

Government has introduced Test and Trace Support Payments to provide financial aid to some people, such as those on low incomes and benefits, who have been asked to self-isolate. Councils have been asked by Government to administer this system, which will run until 30 June 2021.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to financial support. To be eligible for a £500 lump sum payment you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • have a valid NHS Test and Trace reference number
  • have responded to your notification from the NHS Test and Trace and engaged with the service by providing the legally required information
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be in receipt of at least 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 and/or Pension Credit
  • make your application up to 28 days after your first day of self-isolation - for example, if you started your self-isolation period on 1 January, you would have until 29 January to make a claim.
  • make your application up to 42 days after your first day of self-isolation - for example, if you started your self-isolation period on 1 January, you would have until 11 February to make a claim.

Discretionary awards

If you are not in receipt of any of the benefits listed but meet all of the other conditions, you may still be eligible for a payment under our discretionary schemes if you will face financial hardship as a result of losing money through having to self-isolate. To qualify for a discretionary payment you must have a household income of less than £57,400 (couple or single parents) or £39,200 (single person) and have savings of less than £10,000.

Payments for parents or guardians

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Self-Isolation Payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

You can only make one application per child or young person per household.

To qualify for this payment, you must:

  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • be in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Income based Job Seeker's Allowance
    • Pension Credit, or
    • have a household income of less that £37,400 (couple or single parents) or £19,200 (single person) and have savings of less than £3,000.

In addition to this you must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The parent or guardian must be in the same household as the child or young person and needs to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.
  • The child or young person who normally attends an education or childcare setting must be either:
    • aged 15 or under
    • aged between 16 and 25 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC).
  • The child or young person has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or by their education or childcare setting - this can be evidenced by providing either:
    • the child's eight-digit Test and Trace ID number - for ages 15 and under
    • a communication from the child or young person's education or childcare setting to confirm that they have to self-isolate
    • a screenshot of a young person's NHS COVID-19 app notification to confirm they need to self-isolate and proof of an EHC - for ages 16 to 25.

Applications are made for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.

Payments are subject to tax but not National Insurance.

Please make sure that you have the following evidence to hand before starting the application:

  • your notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a unique eight-digit ID number)
  • a bank statement confirming your name and address
  • proof of employment or earning or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

Providing evidence of your bank statement which includes your name and address helps us with our verification checks.

How will payments be made?

Payments will be made by bank transfer within three working days from the date your application has been processed and a decision has been made. Payments will be paid to the bank account matching the bank statement provided as part of your proof of eligibility.

Fraud advice

In an initiative between Government and the independent charity Crimestoppers, the public can now call a new COVID Fraud Hotline (0800 587 5030) anonymously and free of charge to report suspected fraudulent activity. The COVID Fraud Hotline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on 0800 587 5030 or you can fill in the simple and secure anonymous form at www.Covidfraudhotline.org

Test and Trace Enquiries and Complaints Service

Government has launched a new Test and Trace Enquiries and Complaints Service as part of the wider 119 telephone service. You can now call NHS Test and Trace to discuss any enquiries, complaints or self-isolation disputes and receive support.

More information

If you need to talk to someone about this you can talk to someone at the council on 01284 776200 or email self-isolation@angliarevenues.gov.uk or contact the Anglia Revenues Partnership on 01284 757275

What you are required to do

If asked for by Test and Trace you must self-isolate by law and failure to do so would mean you would be no longer eligible for the payment and steps will be made to recover the funds.

For more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:

  • testing positive
  • who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and now has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Please visit the NHS website - Test and Trace - Help the NHS alert your close contacts if you test positive for coronavirus

Fraud

The council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. You will therefore be liable to repay the support payment if you are not entitled to it and anyone caught falsifying their records to gain additional support payment will face prosecution.

Further help available

Whether you meet the criteria or not set by Government, there is help available for those facing financial difficulty or needing support. The Suffolk Support and Advice Service helps people across the county access information or support relating to debt, benefits, housing or employment. You can contact the service on 0800 068 3131 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday or visit Suffolk Support and Advice Service

Please note

We are required by law to protect the public funds we administer.

We may share information provided to us with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, or where undertaking a public function, in order to prevent and detect fraud. Your personal data may be used to manage, monitor, improve and promote our services. Where delivery of services or actions is in partnership with others, it may also be shared with other persons or bodies in accordance with, and restricted to, the terms of information shared agreements and protocols.