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Test and Trace Support payment (Self-Isolation payment)

If, after the 11 January 2022, you have tested positive using a Lateral Flow Device (LFD), you will still need to take a confirmatory PCR test before applying for the Test and Trace Support Payment. If you have not taken a PCR test, you are unable to apply for a payment.

If someone else (for example a care home or a school) reported your test result, these are known as Assisted Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. You may qualify for a payment if you have had your positive test recorded as an Assisted LFD and we will verify this with the NHS Test and Trace team.

If you have lost income because you have been required to self isolate, you may be eligible for a payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. The government has made this available to some people who are on a low income and have had to self-isolate on or after Monday 28 September 2020.

It is a legal requirement to self-isolate, if you do not do so you are liable to be prosecuted. 

Please apply below but read all the guidance carefully before doing so - we are receiving a large number of unsuccessful applications from people who do not meet the basic criteria.

We only administer these payments for Gateshead residents. If you live outside of Gateshead you will need to contact your local authority to apply. If you are unsure which local authority you need to contact you can enter your postcode on the Gov.uk Test and Trace Support Payment page.

Due to the high demand for this national scheme, it may take up to 15 working days to notify you the outcome of your application.  Once you have submitted your application form you will receive an acknowledgement.  Please do not contact us until 15 days have lapsed after you have submitted your application.

Each person in your household who meets the eligible criteria can apply for a test and trace support payment. You can also apply more than once, if you or a child or young person you are caring for has to self-isolate more than one time. The payment is taxable but not subject to National Insurance.

The scheme will run until 31 March 2022 and applications need to be made no later than 42 days after the start date of your self-isolation and you must have taken the FULL contact tracing journey.

To be eligible for the payment, an individual must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • You must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated (this applies for isolation periods on or after 16 August 2021); or
  • You must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app between the dates 30 November 2021 and the 13 December 2021 because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive with the OMICRON variant, even if you are fully vaccinated.

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 and you are unable to work from home and will lose income; and
  • the young person has:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan; or
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan (this applies for isolation periods on or after 16 August 2021); or
    • between 30 November and 30 December 2021 been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 OMICRON variant (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, even if they are fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan; and 
    • the young person normally attends an education or care-setting;

If you are applying for a Test and Trace Support payment for yourself or because you are required to look after a child/young person who is self-isolating you need to be;

  • employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

You must also currently receive one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits but meet all other criteria, you can still apply and we will consider you for a Discretionary payment.

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
  • you were notified to self-isolate before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020
  • you have not received a formal notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • we are unable to verify your unique 8-digit ID number from NHS Test and Trace
  • you are receiving a lower wage because you are furloughed (unless you are receiving flexi furlough as you are working part of your contacted hours and there is a reduction in your income)
  • you are self-isolating because you have returned to the UK from abroad (unless you have been told to do so by NHS Test and Trace or have tested positive)

We understand that by making this Self-Isolation Payment application you have lost income and are therefore suffering a financial loss.

How the payment will be made

You will receive payment by bank transfer into your account. For this reason, it is very important the bank statements you supply with your application are up to date.

If you are overdrawn, you will need to write to your bank immediately and ask for a first right of appropriation of funds order referring to a self-isolation payment of £500. This means that if you are successful, the bank cannot use the payment towards paying off your overdraft.

The payment is taxable and HMRC will be informed of the £500 Test and Trace Support payment you have received.

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 recoverable from you, as may any grants that have been paid in error. Anyone identified as failing to self-isolate will be reported to the police.

Advice and support

If you are struggling because of the pandemic more information can be found our Covid-19 pages.

If you are on a low income and would like some information about the help and support available please visit our Benefits pages.

You can also get independent advice from Citizens Advice Gateshead

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