Test and Trace Support payment

If you have received a notification to self-isolate from NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020 you may be eligible for a test and trace support payment of £500.

You can apply for this payment if you can demonstrate that all five of the following criteria apply to you:

  • I have received an NHS Test and Trace notification on or after Monday 28 September 2020 either because I have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • I am currently employed or self-employed.
  • I am unable to work from home.
  • I will lose income during the period that I am required to self-isolate.
  • I am currently in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

If you meet all of the above criteria but you are not in receipt of one of these benefits you may still be eligible for the payment under the Cheshire East Discretionary Test and Trace Scheme (PDF, 292KB) if you can demonstrate that all of the following additional criteria apply to you:

  • you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst you are self isolating
  • you would be entitled to a qualifying benefit, you have applied and you are awaiting the application to be processed or haven’t yet applied for it
  • you have fixed property costs for example a mortgage payment or rent costs through a commercial tenancy agreement which is evidenced by having a liability for Council Tax. If you pay rent/board to a close relative, such as your parents, step parents, in-laws, brothers or sisters the support payment may not be appropriate but you may qualify for other help through the people helping people scheme or other financial support such as the Emergency Assistance scheme.

Before you start your application

We will ask you about your employment or self-employment so we can check that you cannot work from home and that you will lose income because you are self-isolating.

At the end of the application form, you will be asked to upload documentary evidence to support your application. You can upload PDF and Microsoft Word documents and photographs / images of documents.

Required evidence

This is the evidence you will need to have ready. We cannot consider your application without all of this:

  • Your notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique 8 digit ID number and must have been sent to you on or after Monday 28 September 2020). Please note this is different to the 12 digit reference number the NHS provide to employers.
  • Your most recent bank statement
  • If you are employed - proof of your employment, for example your most recent pay slip.
  • If you are self-employed, evidence of your self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

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).
  • 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 i.e. your period of self-isolation ends before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launches on 28 September 2020.
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.

Apply for the Test and Trace support payment

If you are unable to complete the online application yourself, you can call 0300 123 5035 for assistance.

What happens after you submit your application

If you are eligible, we will make a payment into your bank account within 3 working days of receiving your completed application and evidence.

If you didn't submit evidence as part of your application, you can send it to us separately using the test and trace payment evidence upload form.

Questions about the scheme

The Government has set up the Test and Trace support payment scheme to help residents whose earnings are affected by staying at home and isolating for 14 days. Eligible residents can apply to their Local Authority for a one off Test and Trace support payment of £500.

People who live in the same household can each make an individual application to receive a support payment if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

You can claim more than once if you are told to self-isolate multiple times. This is as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

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.

You can make an application claim up to 14 days after your period of self-isolation has ended if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Yes, the support payment will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. Tax will not be deducted from the payment itself. You will need to declare the payment to HMRC.

You should contact your bank and ask to make a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’ to prevent the payment being used to pay your overdraft.

If you have two part-time jobs and continue to be paid a full wage by one employer, but the other employer is not paying you whilst you are self-isolating then you can be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment if you meet all the eligibility criteria.

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2021.