Test and Trace support payment
From 28 September 2020, if you receive a positive Covid-19 test result or are notified 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 and a valid unique 8 digit reference number from 28 September onwards (not before). The scheme is due to end on 31 January 2021.
The Test and Trace Support Payment is only for people on a low income (see criteria below), who must legally self-isolate for 14 days and cannot work from home during this period.
Test and Trace process
A notification from the Test and Trace App is not adequate. You must have had either a text or email sent to you by NHS Test and Trace containing an 8 digit unique identifier, either inviting you to create an account if you test positive, reminding you to do this, or giving advice on self-isolation. It is important that you provide accurate details to NHS Test and Trace either over the phone or by updating your own details online through the link in the text or email. This will enable you to check your personal details such as name, date of birth and postcode
Everyone who has completed the Test and Trace questionnaire will receive a message (sent either via a text message or email or post for people with no access to mobile phone or email) containing the unique 8 character Account ID.
If you meet the payment eligibility criteria, we will need to validate your unique 8 digit reference number before the payment can be processed.
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:
- 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.
- are employed or self-employed;
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
- 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:
- 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. A notification from the Test and Trace app is not adequate at present. You must have had either a text or email sent to you by NHS Test and Trace containing an 8 digit unique identifier either inviting you to create an account if you test positive, reminding you to do this, or giving advice on self-isolation and
- are employed or self-employed; and
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
In addition, the discretionary payment is designed for people who:
- 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?
- 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:
- reviewed and completed all of your NHS Test and Trace details such as date of birth and post code
- received a notification with a unique 8 digit reference number
- read and meet the eligibility criteria
- have all 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.
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 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.