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Test and Trace Support Payment

From 28 September 2020, people are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. To ensure that people on lower incomes that work are able to self-isolate without worrying about their finances, they may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment of £500.

Fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if they have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace and are therefore not eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment.

Most people under the age of 18 who are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace are no longer required to self-isolate, so in most cases their parent and guardians will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment.

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

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not exempt from self-isolation; and
  • have responded to message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts

If you are a parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you meet the following criteria (even if you are exempt from self-isolation):

  • you are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person is: 

- aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or

- aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or 

- aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been notified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app); or 

- self-isolating because there was an outbreak at their education or childcare setting, and they have been sent home by their local public health team. 

  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and  you meet all the other criteria for a payment

You must also:

  • be employed or self-employed, and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose earnings as a result and
  • be currently receiving one of the following: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit

If you do not satisfy the last condition as you are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits you may still be entitled to a discretionary payment if you are suffering from financial hardship.

Applications need to be made no later than 42 days after your self-isolation starts. There are no grounds for backdating after this date.

There is no right to appeal against a decision not to award a Self-Isolation Payment.

Claim a Test and Trace Support Payment using our on-line form

Please ensure that you have the information below available before starting the application:  

  • National Insurance number
  • The 8-character NHS Test and Trace Account ID, where applicable
  • Your most recent bank statement and wage slip or proof of self-employment
  • A communication from your child or young person's education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because there was an outbreak at their education or childcare setting, and they have been sent home by public health, where applicable
  • A screenshot of a young person's NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate because they have tested positive AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App, where applicable

If you are entitled to a payment, this will be paid into your bank account within 3 working days of your application being verified.

Pre and post-payment checks will be carried out to prevent fraud, which may include contacting the education or child-care setting, where appropriate. If any claims are subsequently found to have been fraudulently paid, Sunderland City Council have the right to recover such sums.

You must agree to stay at home and self-isolate for the required period. If you fail to do so, you will be required to pay the funds back and your contact details may be passed on to the police for further action.

Due to the high volumes of applications we are currently experiencing it may take up to 15 working days to notify you if your application has been successful.

Claim a Test and Trace support payment

If you need help to complete this form, please contact us on 0191 520 5551.

Test and Trace Support Payment FAQs

If you are overdrawn

If you are entitled to a payment and are overdrawn, to avoid the payment being used to repay your overdraft you can exercise your first right of appropriation. Please see further advice about your right of appropriation.

Will payments be taxed?

Test and Trace Support Payments will be subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions, as such the Council is required to provide Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs with the details of every payment made. 

Other Local Support

Please see our Need support or want to help? pages for details of other local support that is available whilst you are self-isolating.

The government guidance for claiming a Test and Trace Support Payment can be found on their Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme web page.

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