Test and trace support payment scheme
The new self-isolation law
We are all working hard to keep each other safe and stop the spread of COVID-19 by covering our faces, keeping our distance, washing our hands and national guidance.
Updates to Self-Isolation Exemptions
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 TTSP 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. These contacts will receive written confirmation of the requirement to do so (either by email or text message), which will be needed as evidence before we are able to approve a payment.
What will happen if I don't self-isolate?
If you do not self-isolate, there is a fine of £1,000 for breaching self-isolation rules, but this could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches, including if you prevent others from self-isolating (for example, if you own a business and threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not go to work).
Test and trace support payment scheme
The government have set up a NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme to support low income workers whose earning are affected by having to self-isolate or look after a child or qualifying young person who has to self-isolate, with a £500 grant.
Am I eligible for a test and trace support payment?
If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be eligible to apply for a test and trace support payment.
From 16 August 2021, if you are a fully vaccinated adult you are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means you are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate and are still eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Your vaccination status will be checked with NHS Test & Trace who will hold these records.
Also, from 16 August 2021, people under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means that if you are their parent/guardian you will no longer need to care for them while they self-isolate, as they can continue to leave home to attend school and you will no longer be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.
Some people aged 18-25 with EHC Plan (EHC) will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Their parents/guardians may retain eligibility for TTSP if they still need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.
To be eligible for the scheme, you must be a Harborough District Council resident and . . .
- . . . Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and have been given a test and trace number
- OR be looking after someone 15 years of age or under who is usually attending an educational or childcare setting, but has been told by NHS test and trace to self-isolate on or after 8th March 2021, and can provide their NHS test and trace unique 8 digit reference number or a letter from the child’s educational or childcare setting asking them to self-isolate (this will be verified prior to any potential payments).
- OR be looking after someone who is a qualifying young person, 25 years of age or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) who is usually attending an educational setting but has been told by NHS test and trace to self-isolate on or after 8th March 2021, and can provide their NHS test and trace unique 8 digit reference number or a letter from the child’s educational setting asking them to self-isolate (this will be verified prior to any potential payments).
You must also meet all of the following criteria:
- You must be employed or self-employed.
- You must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to stay at home and self-isolate.
- You must be currently receiving universal credit, working tax credit, income-based employment and support allowance, income-based jobseeker’s allowance, income support, housing benefit and/or pension credit
You must make a claim up to 42 days from the first day of self-isolation.
The council has been given some additional discretionary funds so that we can support people who do not meet the government’s eligibility criteria.
When considering whether a Discretionary Support Payment should be made, the claimant must instead meet the following criteria:
- They are not currently in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance (Income Based), Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
- Will face severe demonstrable financial hardship, as a direct result of not being able to work whilst self-isolating or looking after a child or qualifying young person who is self-isolating and unable to pay essential bills
- Will usually have maximum earnings of no more than £250 (£500 per couple) gross per week (with a lower limit of £80 and would normally work 16 hours a week. Please note that the full household expenditure will be taken into account when assessing any applications).
- Have savings below £2,000
- This discretionary scheme is not open to University students and those in Higher Education
- Applicants who usually have no recourse to public funds may be considered, providing they meet all of the above discretionary criteria. Please be aware that there is very limited funding for this scheme and applications will have to be dealt with on a first come basis. Accordingly we have to reserve the right to alter or amend the scheme dependent upon demand and to withdraw the discretionary scheme when the funding for the discretionary scheme is exhausted.
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, that is, your period of self-isolation ended before the self-isolation payment scheme launched (28 September 2020)
- Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate, but not in the case when applying for a child or qualifying young person
- In the case of applying for a child or qualifying young person the whole educational setting/ school is closed.
- Do not provide the required supporting evidence
What happens if my application is unsuccessful?
There is no formal appeal process for unsuccessful applications and our decision will be final. No separate dispute resolution is in place with this scheme.
How can I apply?
Applications will need to be made via this website or over the telephone if you do not have access to a computer/internet.
Test and Trace Payment Enquiries
For other enquiries please use 01858 828282 .