Following the legal duty to self-isolate which came into force on Monday 28 September 2020, the new Test and Trace Support Payment schemes are in force from today Monday 12 October 2020.

 What is the new Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

This is for individuals who are in work, on a low income, who are required to self-isolate and cannot work from home.

Who qualifies?

Individuals must:

  • Be aged 16 and over
  • Have tested positive for COVID-19 since 28 September 2020 or
  • Have been identified by NHS Test and Trace as living in the same household as – or coming into contact with – someone who has tested positive since 28 September 2020, and
  • Be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home while self-isolating and have lost income from your employment as a result
  • Agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace and self-isolate.

They must also be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Universal credit
  • Working Tax Credits
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income -based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit

Some individuals may be eligible if they do not receive the benefits above but would face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst self-isolating.

 How much is the payment?

It is a one-off payment of £500, the payment will not reduce the amount of any benefits received.

How can they apply?

Individuals must apply through their local authority, there are online applications set up.  They must provide evidence of a positive test or contact via Track and Trace.  They will also need proof of employment (bank statement or pay slips, self-assessment returns if self-employed).  Please note this payment is made on top of Statutory Sick Payments.

The obligation is on the employee to apply for this, but it is a good idea for employers to be aware so that they can signpost employees to this scheme if they meet the criteria.