Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice
Test and Trace support payments
From 8 March 2021, if you are not legally required to self-isolate, you can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if you need to take time off work to care for a child or young person, providing:
- you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for the child while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
- you are employed or self-employed.
- you cannot work from home whilst undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
- you meet all the means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
- your child or young person:
- is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) and normally attends an education setting.
- your child has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or care plan setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The child or young person must have been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021. Applications can be backdated to this point and the parent or guardian will be eligible for the payment if they meet all the other eligibility criteria (for the main scheme or the discretionary scheme).
Applications from members of the same household
Parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can make one application per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
Applications made after someone’s period of self-isolation has ended
Claims made by parents and guardians can be made no later than 42 days after the child or young person’s first day of self-isolation.
Applications that overlap with another period of self-isolation
Only one application is allowed if your child’s period of isolation overlaps with another period of isolation or that of another child.
You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the Test and Trace support payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.
These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.
You can make an application if you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. The scheme will last until 31 March 2021.
You must make an application no later than 42 days after the start of your self-isolation.
Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace payment is restricted to people who:
- have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and have an eight character Account ID;
- are employed or self-employed;
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
- are 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.
Loss of income
Before making your application, please check with your employer if you will have a loss of earnings whilst self-isolating. If your pay is unaffected, you will not be entitled to a Test and Trace Payment. We may check with your employer to verify if you have a loss of income.
Furlough/self-employed income support payments
If you received furlough/self-employed income support payments before your period of isolation and these continue because you are unable to work due to the local/national lockdown, you will not be entitled to a Test and Trace payment.
If you are not eligible for a Test and Trace Payment because you are not in receipt of one of the benefits listed above, you can apply for a discretionary payment if you face financial hardship.
You may be entitled to financial support if you unable to keep up your bill payments, particularly in relation to paying rent, mortgage, council tax, food, fuel and other essential household bill payments.
Evidence will be required that you are unable to pay essential bills.
You will not be eligible for a discretionary payment if you or your partner have more than £6,000 in bank accounts or accessible investments.
There is no right of formal appeal against any decision.
Applications from members of the same household
People in the same household can each make an application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.
You may be asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace more than once.
You can apply more than once (if you are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual application and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
For example, if someone claims for a period of self-isolation lasting from 1 October to 14 October and then claims again for a second period of self-isolation beginning on 10 October, they would only be allowed to claim once, because the two periods overlap. However, they would be allowed to claim for a second period of self-isolation that began after the first period had ended on 14 October.
Third Party applications
You can apply on behalf of someone else; however, the £500 must be paid into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made. For example, if someone applied on behalf of a parent, the payment would be made into the parent’s bank account.
Applicants who are quarantining after returning to the UK
The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
Applicants with other support needs
If you are unable to access the application should contact Lichfield Connects on 01543 308900 and an appointment will be made with an advisor.
Bank access to your payment
Banks are not allowed to use Test and Trace Payments or any other benefit to repay an overdraft.
You can protect your payment by telling your bank it should not be used to pay your overdraft. This protection is called a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’.
You can use the first right of appropriation on any money being paid into your account.
Applying for a first right of appropriation of funds order
You need to contact your bank and make it clear the payment from Lichfield District Council is for Test and Trace and is to be used for your bill payments.
For example you might want to instruct your bank:
On 12 October 2020 my self-isolation payment will be paid into my bank account number 00001111. I am exercising my first appropriation over these funds and wish you to pay the following items from it: (List any bill payments).
If there are any items you no longer want to pay from your account, or which you cannot afford, you should give your bank separate cancellation instructions. This is because the first right of appropriation does not stop the bank paying items as well as those you have listed. If you do not cancel these items, your bank may return the items as unpaid, which they may charge you for. However, payments from your account to re-pay a loan with the same bank cannot be cancelled.
You may face prosecution if you have given false information to obtain a payment, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. You will be ask to repay any payment you are not entitled to.
The Government is supporting Lichfield District Council to verify all applications.
Read Lichfield District Council's NHS Test and Trace payments policy.
You can find more information about how we keep your data in our privacy notice.