Coronavirus (COVID-19): Public health advice

Test and Trace support payments

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 on or after 28 September 2020. The scheme will last until 31 January 2021.

You must make an application no later than 14 days after your period of self-isolation ended.

Eligibility

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.

Apply for a Test and Trace payment

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.

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