Test and Trace Support payments

From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for the Test and Trace Support payments from 16 August 2021 unless they themselves test positive, at which point they would become eligible to claim.

Also from this date, anyone under 18 who is a contact of someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus will also be exempt from having to self-isolate. This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for Test and Trace Support payments if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians may still be eligible for a payment regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated as they may need to stay at home and look after their child.

Some people aged 18-25 with an Education, Health and Care plan will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Their parent or guardian may be eligible to claim a Test and Trace Support payment if they need to stay at home to look after them.

Financial support for those who are self-isolating

Recognising that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of Covid-19, a Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate with financial assistance.

Just under 4 million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September.

From 8 March 2021 financial support has been extended to a parent/guardian of a child or young person who has been advised to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support payment, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be 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
  • you must be currently self-isolating under a notice from the NHS Test & Trace team or it must be no more than 42 days since the first day of your period of self-isolation

Please note - you can claim more than once if you have been asked to self-isolate on more than one occasion however these periods cannot overlap and the eligibility criteria must be met for each period.

To be eligible for the Parent and Guardian Support payment, an individual must:

  • Have a child or young person who has been asked to self-isolate and are unable to attend their education or childcare setting.
  • The parent/guardian must be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Be 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
  • The claim must be made within 42 days of the first date of self-isolation for the child or young person

Please note – you can claim more than once if a child or young person in the household has been asked to self-isolate however these periods cannot overlap and the eligibility criteria must be met for each period.

The payment for both schemes is £500 which is payable as a lump sum

The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

  • For Test and Trace Support payment you will need notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (including your unique ID number (allocation code) which is obtained following response to messages received from NHS Test and Trace)
  • For the Parent and Guardian scheme you will need one of the following:
    • The child or young person’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number; or
    • A copy of the communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate; or
    • A screenshot of a your 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

For Both Schemes:

  • A recent bank statement
  • Self-employed - self-employment assessment returns, trading income and proof that you cannot work from home and that you will not receive any employment or business income for the isolation period
  • Employed - written proof from your employers that you are unable to work from home