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Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment


From 30 November 2021, all close contacts of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant will be required to self-isolate, regardless of any exemptions from self-isolation, such as their age or vaccination status.

This means the following groups may be eligible for Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme if they meet the criteria:

  • people who are fully vaccinated who are identified as a suspected or confirmed contact of someone with the Omicron variant
  • people taking part in workplace daily contact testing schemes who are identified as a suspected or confirmed contact of someone with the Omicron variant
  • a parent or guardian of a child who is a contact of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant.

Contacts of people who are suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant will be told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.


From 16 August 2021, under 18s and people who are fully vaccinated will no longer need to self-isolate when identified as a close contact, and therefore will not be eligible for a support payment unless they test positive for COVID-19.

From 28 September 2020, If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

The Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme will continue until 31 March 2022 as part of the Government’s COVID-19 response over the autumn and winter.

What are Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments

A Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment is a one off payment to help support people on low income who are unable to work and will suffer exceptional financial hardship because they are legally required to self isolate.

People who are eligible will receive a lump sum payment of £500.

Who is eligible

If you live in the borough of Tunbridge Wells and have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, or if your child has tested positive and you are unable to work due to looking after them, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment (Self Isolation Payment) of £500 if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate and fully engage with the service
  • have completed a PCR test and been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their child has been asked to self-isolate and they are unable to work due  to looking after them
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self isolating
  • apply within 42 days of their self isolation period starting
  • will experience exceptional financial hardship as a result of self-isolating

Who is not 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)
  • you continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
  • you can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • your self isolation period started before 28 September 2020
  • you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • you are receiving full sick pay
  • you have not experienced a loss of income
  • you are furloughed during the self-isolation period
  • you are applying more than 42 days after the start of your self-isolation period
  • You will not be eligible for the discretionary Test and Trace support payment if you are receiving one or more of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

If you are currently receiving one of the benefits listed above you may be entitled to claim a Test and Trace support payment.

Before you start

You will need the following information to complete this form:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a unique ID number)
  • your National Insurance number
  • a copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months)
  • if you are employed a copy of your latest payslip
  • if you are self-employed, evidence of being an active business e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months) or most recent set of accounts
  • proof of your household income, savings and monthly expenditure

Start now


Fraud

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, 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 may any grants paid in error.

The government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Data sharing

As part of your claim, the information you provide us with will be matched with other data held by the council as well as third parties, this includes NHS Test and Trace (CTAS) and the DWP.

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.

To enable us to prevent or detect crime, to protect public funds and to help protect public health your information may be shared with third parties, including but not limited to:

  • Police
  • Environmental Health
  • UK Visas and Immigration Service
  • Health and social care organisations
  • other local authorities

The council may also share data with both internal and external organisations for the purposes of validating any applications or support you may make or have made for other council services such as housing applications, homeless applications, or your employers please note that this list is not exhaustive.

Read our Test and Trace Support Payment privacy notice.