As from 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as close contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible to receive a Test and Trace Support Payment from this date (unless they test positive, at which point they would then become eligible).

From this date, anyone under 18 who is a close contact will also be exempt from self-isolation. This means that parents and guardians will no longer be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a close contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. However 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.

People with a low income can claim for a Test and Trace Support Payment if they have been told by the NHS to self-isolate due to Covid-19 and to do so would affect their income.

These payments are available to anyone fitting the criteria below that was asked to self-isolate by the NHS on or after the 28 September 2020.

Who can claim

Individuals will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:

  • 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
  • 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.

Parents or guardians of a child or young person who is required to self-isolate

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

You must meet all the criteria below:

  • you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and you need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • you are employed or self-employed.
  • you cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • you meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment (either through the main scheme or the discretionary fund).
  • your child or young person is aged 15 or under, or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
  • your child has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

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 or care for a child or young person who is.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.

Discretionary Scheme

There is also a discretionary fund for individuals who meet the above criteria but are not receiving a qualifying benefit.

Applicants must also meet the following additional criteria in order to qualify for a payment from this scheme:

  • Are suffering financial hardship as a result of having to self-isolate
  • Have less than £3000 in capital or savings    
  • Normally earning more than £80 per week but less than £290 per week.

Make a claim

If you think you are eligible you can register online and submit any evidence for the Test and Trace Support payment electronically.

If you are unable to make an application electronically, please call the Council on 01424 787000

You will need the following information to complete this form:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate;
  • Your National Insurance Number

If you are a parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting, you will need the following information to complete this form:

Either:

  • your child or young person’s 8-character NHS Test and Trace Account ID (if aged 16 or over). This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate, OR
  • a communication from your child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, OR
  • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App

A video offering help in how to complete an application form can be found here.

Backdated claims

Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 42 days after their first day of self – isolation. After this date any application will be refused.  For example, if an applicant was told to self-isolate on 8 March, they must apply by 19 April

Multiple claims

Someone can claim more than once (if they are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and their periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

For example, if someone claims for a period of self-isolation lasting from 1 October to 14 October and then claims again for a second period of self-isolation beginning on 10 October, they would only be allowed to claim once, because the two periods overlap.  However, they would be allowed to claim for a second period of self-isolation that began after the first period had ended on 14 October.

Applicants who are overdrawn

You can protect this payment from being used to repay an overdraft by writing to your bank and informing them that the payment is to support you whilst you have been instructed to self-isolate.   This protection is called a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’.

What am I required to do?

If you receive a self-isolation payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace. 

Please visit the NHS website for more details on what to do if you’re told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.

Evidence of failure to self-isolate

Where there is clear evidence either through post-payment verification checks or through other means, that someone has not self-isolated, the Council will refer the matter to the police. The police will then determine what follow-up action to take and, where necessary, issue fixed penalty notices.

Data sharing

Please see the separate privacy notice below.

Other support

There is further support available for people who are suffering as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Visit our community support webpage or read more about financial support available for Rother residents.