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Test and Trace support payment | Test and Trace support payment | Birmingham City Council

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Test and Trace support payment

From 28 September 2020, if you receive a positive Covid-19 test result or are told by the NHS to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum. Payments will only be made for people with a positive diagnosis from 28 September onwards (not before). The scheme is due to end on 31 January 2021.

The Test and Trace Support Payment is for people on a low income, who must legally self-isolate for 14 days and cannot work from home during this period.

Eligibility for payments (main scheme) 

Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who meet all of the following criteria:

  1. have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  2. are employed or self-employed;
  3. are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  4. 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.

Eligibility for a Discretionary payment (secondary scheme)

A discretionary payment of £500 can be made to individuals who meet all the following criteria:

  1. have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  2. are employed or self-employed; and
  3. are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

In addition, the discretionary payment is designed for people who:

  1. are not 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; and?
  2. are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.

Additional criteria for a discretionary payment

The following (additional) will also be used to determine eligibility for discretionary payments:

  • we will consider people who have applied for a benefit or been refused and have made an appeal against the decision for a discretionary payment so long as they meet the other statutory and discretionary criteria.
  • the same will apply to persons from abroad who are excluded from claiming benefits but meet all the other statutory and discretionary criteria.
  • applicants who have a gross weekly earnings figure of no more than £372 per week (40 hours x £9.30 per hour living wage)
  • an applicant would suffer severe financial hardship if a payment is not made (which they will be asked to substantiate)
  • an applicant must have capital less than £6,000

Full time university students

Universities have been given over £250m in addition to their existing hardship funds to help students through the Coronavirus pandemic. If the university is unable to assist financially then students can apply provided, they meet the criteria.

How to apply

Before you start to complete the online form, please make sure that you have read and meet the eligibility criteria and have the appropriate evidence ready to upload.

Where it is not possible to apply online, applicants should call 0121 464 7000, press option 1 for Benefits and option 3 for Test and Trace support payments.

Be aware that the online form will time out after 30 minutes of inactivity and a new form will need to be completed.

To complete the form, you must be prepared to provide:

  • your notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (a Unique 8-digit ID number)
  • your bank statement (showing the account details where the payment will be made)   
  • your proof of employment and confirmation from your employer that you cannot work from home
  • 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
  • Proofs to support a discretionary request: please note that in order for the documents to upload successfully, these need to be in the following image format types: GIF, JPG, PDF, PNG or TIFF.

Complete an application form for a test and trace support payment

Backdating payment (from 28 September 2020)

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self isolate from since the 28 September and you meet the eligibility criteria, then you will qualify for a backdated payment and should complete the above process in the same way.

General information regarding the scheme is available on the GOV.UK website.

Useful links

Support for residents during the Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Support for businesses during the Coronavirus (COVID-19)