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From 11 January 2022 in England, people who receive positive lateral flow results for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. Individuals who self-report a positive lateral flow test and wish to claim for Test and Trace Support Payments will need to take a confirmatory PCR test.
This scheme has been extended from 8 March 2021 to parents and guardians who 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 during term time. Applicants will need to satisfy the other eligibility criteria for the main scheme or discretionary scheme, as below, to receive the payment.
This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions. Eligible individuals can make a claim providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020 or 8 March 2021 if applying due to child’s self-isolation. Applications must be made within 42 days of the first day of the isolation period. This scheme will end on 31 March 2022.
The Government has announced that from 11 November 2021, all staff working or volunteering in a care home will need to demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated, unless they are exempt. Individuals who work in the care sector who have been told to self-isolate or stopped from entering work, will not qualify for Test and Trace Support Payment but may have their wages covered via the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund.
From 30 November 2021 to 13 December 2021 all close contacts of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate regardless of any exemptions from self-isolation such as age or vaccination status and therefore eligible to apply for Test and Trace Support Payment. Evidence of this must be provided.
From, 14 December 2021 fully vaccinated adults and young people who have been identified as the contact of a COVID-19 case should take an NHS lateral flow test every day for seven days. The following groups are eligible to take part in daily testing if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case:
- fully vaccinated household and non-household adult close contacts.
- contacts who have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trials.
- contacts who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons.
- contacts who are between the ages of 5 and 18 years and 6 months.
As these individuals do not have to self-isolate, they – or their parents and guardians, in the case of young people – will be ineligible for Test and Trace Support Payment unless they test positive for COVID-19. If someone is eligible for daily testing and chooses not to take part, they will not be eligible for Test and Trace Support Payment.
This 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 and 2021/2022 Self-Assessment tax return.
Who is eligible
Please note: you must meet all of the criteria below in order to be eligible for the main scheme.
You will be eligible if you:
- Are employed or self-employed
- Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for coronavirus OR from 16 August 2021 you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated.
- 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
- Comply with NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate and have provided any legally required information, such as details of close contacts.
OR if you are not in receipt of one of the listed benefits and meet the other eligibility criteria, you may be considered for a discretionary payment.
- If you are single or a couple without dependant children with wages of less than £354.41 per week/£18,480 per year. From 7 April 2021, this increases to £575.34 per week/ £30,000 per year.
- If you are a member of a couple (with a dependant child) or single with a dependant child with wages of less than £383.56 per week / £20,000 per year. From 7 April 2021, this increases to £575.34 per week/ £30,000 per year.
- you will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating (you will be asked to substantiate this).
If applying due to a child’s isolation you must satisfy the above even if you are fully vaccinated.
- 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 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 cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
- your child or young person:
- is aged 15 or under and has tested positive for COVID 19 and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
- is aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), has tested positive and normally attends an education or childcare setting
- is aged 25 or under, has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID 19, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC
Confirmation will be requested from your child’s education care setting. Only one application per household, per period of isolation, can be made.
Who is not eligible?
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- From 16 August 2021, have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you are fully vaccinated.
- Are not employed or self-employed
- 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.
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
- Are furloughed
- Have not engaged with NHS test and trace within the isolation period
- From 11 November 2021, all staff working in a care home will need to demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated unless they are exempt. This means that staff who are not fully vaccinated and test positive or identified as a contact will not qualify for the payment.
Activating your Test & Trace code
If you have received a notification from the NHS to self-isolate including a link to register, you need to ensure that you complete the registration and engagement process in full using your postcode and date of birth. If you fail to do this, the code will not be activated. You then need to apply for the payment using the same address you registered with.
Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?
You can help someone else fill out an application or fill out an application on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else; payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
If you have received a notification from the NHS to self-isolate including a link to register, you need to ensure that you complete the registration and engagement process in full using your postcode and date of birth. If you fail to do this, the code will not be activated, unless you are the parent or guardian of a child. You then need to apply for the payment using the same address you registered with.
If you are overdrawn and you do not want your bank to use the £500 payment to pay your overdraft, you could request a first right of appropriation. Please contact your bank to find out how to do this.
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If you have any issues filling out this form please call 01902 550440.