Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice

Test and Trace support payments

Changes to Test and Trace Support Payments from 14 December 2021

Fully vaccinated adults and young people who have been identified as the contact of a COVID-19 case should take an NHS lateral flow test every day for seven days. The following groups are eligible to take part in daily testing if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • fully vaccinated household and non-household adult close contacts.
  • contacts who have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trials.
  • contacts who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons.
  • contacts who are between the ages of 5 and 18 years and 6 months.

If you or your child are a close contact, you will not be eligible to make an application for a test and trace support payment if you are required to carry out daily lateral flow tests. You will only be able to make an application if you or your child test has a positive PCR test for COVID-19.

Education Settings

If there is an outbreak of COVID-19 at your child’s school, consultation should take place with between the school and local health teams to decide if your child should be sent home to self-isolate. Any contacts will be added to the NHS Test and Trace system by local tracing teams. If your child has been sent home and has to self-isolate and has a contact tracing ID number, you may be able to apply for a parent/guardian payment if you meet all the other eligibility criteria.

Parent/Guardian payments

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 whilst they self-isolate following a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 . 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.  

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.

Self-isolation payments

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 because of a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 or you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated.
  • you must also have engaged with NHS Test and Trace 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.

Please ensure you have a positive PCR test result and have engaged with NHS Test and Trace before making your application. You will not be eligible for a Test and Trace support payment if you have only tested positive following a lateral flow test which you have done at home. You should get a confirmatory PCR Test in order to claim a Test and Trace Support Payment.

Apply

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.

Discretionary payments

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.

Multiple claims

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.

Fraud

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.

Policy

Read Lichfield District Council's NHS Test and Trace payments policy.

Privacy notice

You can find more information about how we keep your data in our privacy notice