Test and Trace support payment

To prevent the spread of Coronavirus, individuals who have tested positive for covid-19, or have been told to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace due to being a contact of a person who has tested positive for covid-19, are legally required to self isolate.

As this self-isolation period can have an impact on an individual’s ability to earn a living, the government introduced a financial support scheme to support people on a very low income to self isolate.

If you’re employed or self-employed on a low income, can’t work from home while self-isolating and will lose earnings as a result, you may be entitled to one off financial support of £500.

From 8 March this scheme has been further expanded to cover parents and guardians on a low income who have to take time off work to provide childcare where their child has to self isolate.

This means that where a child is told by NHS test and trace to self isolate due to testing positive for covid, or is instructed by their school or nursery to self isolate as a result of being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for covid-19, the parents may also be eligible for a £500 payment.

To qualify the parents or guardians must be on a very low income, have to take time off work to provide childcare during the child’s isolation period and will lose income as a result

Eligibility – if you have tested positive for covid or been told by NHS Test and Trace to self isolate

To qualify for the mandatory scheme the government requires that you fulfil all the following criteria:

  • have been notified through NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate and received a unique 8 digit ID number
  • be aged over 16
  • be eligible for public funds
  • live in Hackney
  • be employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home, so have suffered a loss of income
  • receive one of the following qualifying benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, housing benefit or pension credit

Eligibility – if your child has been told to self isolate due to covid-19

You will be entitled to a £500 support payment if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to
  • care for them whilst they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the isolation period.
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you cannot work from home whilst undertaking child caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • the 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.
    • 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.
  • you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Where parents are separated, and have joint custody, the application should come from the child’s primary caregiver. This would be the parent who the child resides with for the majority of their time. If it is not possible to decide who is the primary caregiver, then this it would be the individual who receives the child benefit

Discretionary scheme

We have also introduced a discretionary scheme that can provide £500 in exceptional circumstances for people who don’t meet the conditions of the national scheme.

This can help if you’re working on a very low income but aren’t receiving a relevant qualifying benefit or if you lack recourse to public funds, and will experience severe financial hardship if you or your child have to self isolate.

To be considered for our discretionary scheme the government requires you must:

  • be aged over 16
  • live in the London Borough of Hackney
  • have been told to stay at home and self isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020
  • you are the parent or guardian to a child under 15 (or under 25 with an Education, Health and Care Plan) who 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
  • be employed or self-employed on a low income and unable to work from home
  • face losing income due to self-isolating yourself or providing childcare to your child who is isolating
  • face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating
  • have gross weekly earnings of no more than £500 per week
  • have under £3,000 in savings and capital

Individuals in receipt of Council Tax Reduction, who will lose earnings due to having been told to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace, will automatically be deemed to be in financial hardship and qualify for the £500 support, regardless of income.

Apply

Do not delay in applying for financial support to help self isolate.

Claims from parents and guardians of children whose first day of the period of self isolation fell between 8 March to 5 April 2021 have up until 16 May 2021 to make a claim.

For everyone else if a claim is not made within 42 days after the first day of the period of self-isolation it will not usually be valid. Exception may be made in extreme circumstances – such as where the applicant was severely ill in hospital.

In order to apply you will need to provide the following information:

  • you or (if they have one) your child’s unique eight-digit ID number as provided by NHS Test and Trace
  • if your child has been told by their nursery, school, or education setting to self isolate – a copy of the correspondence from the nursery or school confirming this
  • your National Insurance number
  • a copy of your latest bank statement showing your name
  • proof of employment (eg recent wage slip, employment contract, bank statement issued within the last two months, which clearly shows proof of earnings)
  • proof of self-employment (eg recent business bank statement issued within the last two months, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns)
  • evidence that you live in Hackney (driver’s licence, utility bill such as gas, electricity, water, home telephone, bank/building society statement, council tax bill)

If you’re applying for the discretionary scheme, we will also need details of your income and household expenses to establish you are in financial hardship.

Please complete the application form and we’ll assess your eligibility for help under the national or discretionary scheme as appropriate:

Apply

If you are unable to complete the online form, provide the relevant information, or have further questions please contact us on 020 8356 3111 and we will be able to help you and or help you make a claim over the telephone.

Please be aware that we will review your application and carry out the necessary verification checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax purposes, NHS Test and Trace (if applicable) and the child or young person’s education or childcare setting to confirm their self-isolation status if applicable.

FAQs

Page updated on: 12 April 2021

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