Test and Trace support payment scheme

If you are working, on a low-income and are required to self-isolate but can't work from home, you could be eligible for a £500 payment.

The Test and Trace support payment scheme started on Monday 28 September and will close on 31 January 2021.

You will be able to apply for the Test and Trace support payment on this page from Monday 12 October.

Eligibility for the main support payment scheme

If you live in North Somerset and have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, you will be entitled to a self-isolation payment if you satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • you are aged 16 or over
  • you comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Income Support
    • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
    • Pension Credit

Eligibility for a discretionary support payment

If you don't meet the criteria for the main Test and Trace support payment, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment of £500.

The discretionary payment is designed for people who are on a low income, will face financial hardship due to self-isolating and are not currently receiving one of these benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit

To receive a discretionary payment you must:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or or you 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

Additional eligibility

The following (additional) criteria 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 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)
  • applicants must be working more than 16 hours
  • 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

Who isn’t 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
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • are no longer required to self-isolate, for example if your period of self-isolation ended before the scheme launched on Monday 28 September
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate

When you can apply

You have to complete your application within two weeks of your self-isolation period ending.

You can't claim if your self-isolation period ended before Monday 28 September.

Apply for a Test and Trace support payment

If you live in North Somerset, you can apply for the Test and Trace support payment using our online form. 

Applications will be back-dated from the launch date of the scheme on Monday 28 September.

Before you apply

To complete the form you will need:

  • 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, for example, recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
  • proof of your NHS Account ID for coronavirus COVID-19
  • proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
  • your National Insurance Number

If you can't supply this information, we will be unable to consider your claim and you will not receive a payment.

Apply online

If you can't apply online

If you can't complete the application online or you are unable to provide the required evidence alongside your online application, call us on 01934 888 144 for help.

When to expect your payment

We aim to pay you within three working days of receiving and verifying your application along with the necessary evidence from you.

Fraud

We will check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you have been asked to self-isolate. We will also have checks in place to prevent and detect fraud.

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to receive this payment, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk.

Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as well as any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting us to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly. 

Penalties for not self-isolating

From Monday 28 September, you could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19.

You could also get fined if you do not self-isolate after you are instructed to by NHS Test and Trace because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result.

If you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a fine of up to £10,000.

Your data

As part of the application process, we may need to check any data you provide us against other information that we hold about you. This could inlcude 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 and the Department for Work and Pensions.

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 and National Insurance contributions. 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.

You can find out more about how we use your information in our Test and Trace privacy notice.