Coronavirus Information

Test and trace support payment scheme

About the 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.

From 28 September 2020, to further stop the spread, all of us will be required by law to self-isolate if we test positive for COVID-19, or if we are identified as a contact of someone who has tested positive by the NHS Test and Trace scheme.

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 7th April 2021 you may be eligible for a test and trace support payment if you are looking after a child 15 years of age or under or are looking after a qualifying young person 25 years of age or under , who is usually attending an educational or childcare setting but is self-isolating on or after 8th March 2021.

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:

  1. You must be employed or self-employed.
  2. You must be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of having to stay at home and self-isolate
  3. 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. Only one person in the household can make an application if they are looking after a child or qualifying young person.

Discretionary Payments

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 test and trace payment enquiries, please call 01455 638181. Please note this number is for test and trace payment enquiries only. For other enquiries please use 01858 828282 .