The scheme has been in operation from 28 September for people who live in England and have received a positive Covid-19 test result or are told by the NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has COVID-19.
The government has however announced changes to the Test and Trace Support Payment for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 10 days and cannot work from home during that time. Advice on when to self-isolate and what to do is on the NHS website.
To be eligible for the new Test and Trace Support Payment, you must be able to say yes to all of the following five points:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has and you are not fully vaccinated and
- have responded to the message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts and
- are employed or self-employed and
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
- are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, either Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and or Pension Credit.
Individuals who qualify and who meet all the criteria will be entitled to a £500 lump sum payable into their bank account. These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.
Please note if you have not had a reduction in income your application will not be successful.
The scheme currently ends on 31 March 2022. Eligible people will be able to claim for each period of self-isolation.
You will be considered for a £500 discretionary payment (with additional criteria) if you meet the first 4 points but are:
- not currently receiving, and you are not the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving either 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
- on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating
From 8 March the scheme was extended to parents and guardians who live in England and are not legally required to self-isolate, but who need to take time off work to look after a child or young person who is self-isolating.
Applicants must meet all the criteria below:
- they 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 while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
- they are employed or self-employed
- they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
- they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
- their 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 but has tested positive for COVID-19 or
- has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or childcare setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25 but is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan.
What is an education or childcare setting?
This is somewhere that is registered with the local authority where the child or young person spends most of the weekday during term-time. Schools, nurseries and care settings for 16-25 year olds with additional support needs are included. Things that are not covered include unregistered childcare providers, informal childcare arrangements, home-schooling and after-school/weekend/holiday activities (e.g. Scouts/Guides, sports clubs and summer camps). This list is not exhaustive.
As of 16 August 2021 most parents and guardians are no longer eligible for the scheme because people under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by Test and Trace. Some people aged 18-25 with EHC Plan will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated and their parents/guardians may retain eligibility for Test and Trace Support Payments if they still need to take time of work to care for them whilst they self-isolate.
General information to support and enforce self-isolation is on the government's website.
Are fully vaccinated adults still eligible for the scheme?
As of 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means they are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate and so they are still eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
- Agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace.
- Provide your notification from NHS Test and Trace (this will include a Unique ID number).
- Proof of employment (proof of your earnings), or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
- Provide proof of address, and bank statements (showing the account details where the payment will be made).
Please note if you are unable to provide this information along with your application form, we will not be able to consider your claim, and we will not be able to pay you.
We will check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm you have been asked to self-isolate. We will also have checks in place to prevent and detect fraud.
When to apply
All applications must be made within 42 days of the start of your self-isolation period.
How to apply
Please complete this online if you can. If you can't complete this online then call 01753 772220 for additional support.
When will you get the money
We aim to pay you within 3 working days, once we have received the necessary evidence from you, and checked it.
What happens if I am overdrawn?
You will need to write a letter to your bank to explain that you are expecting a £500 payment (the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment). You will need to specify how you would like to spend the money. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.
You can get more information and download a template letter from the National Debtline website .
As part of the application process, we may need to check any data you provide us against other information that we hold about you, for example any awards of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. We may also receive information from other parties or organisations, or share your data with them to check the accuracy of records. This includes NHS Test and Trace (CTAS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). This will enable us to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways where the law allows.
We will also need to provide information to HMRC about any payments we make, as we understand that, where applicable, the payments are subject to Tax. If you are self-employed, you need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.
You will have to agree to share your data before you can complete the application form. Our Privacy Notice gives more details.
Slough Self-isolation Support Scheme policy
Slough Self-isolation Support Scheme policy sets out the council’s approach the government's Test and Trace Support Payment.