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From Monday, 28 September 2020, you are required by law to self-isolate if you are told to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

The Government has introduced a £500 support payment to help people on low incomes who have to self-isolate. The scheme will run until 31 March 2022 but is being kept under review by the Government. Worcester City Council is responsible for making the payments. Please read all of the information on this page before applying.

Self-isolation Support Payments

The ‘main’ Test and Trace Support Payment is for people who live in England and:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
    or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are not exempt from self-isolation;
    and
  • have responded to message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
  • are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. These individuals may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

Parents and Guardians

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a
‘main’ payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are exempt
from self-isolation):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person is:
    • aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for
      COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 and under, has an EHC Plan, and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (or advised to do so by the NHS COVID-19 app) because they are the close contact of someone with COVID-19 and they are not exempt from self-isolation;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a ‘main’ payment.

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. The parent or guardian of these contacts may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payments are for people who live in England and:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
    or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not exempt from self-isolation;
    and
  • have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating;
  • are not currently receiving, and are not the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit
  • and
  • are on a low income, as defined by their local authority, and will face hardship as a result of self-isolating.

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. These individuals may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

Parents and Guardians

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are exempt from self-isolation):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income; the young person is:
    • aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay
      at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for
      COVID-19;
      or
    • aged 25 and under, has an EHC Plan, and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (or advised to do so by the NHS COVID-19 app) because they are the close contact of someone with COVID-19 and they are not exempt from self-isolation;
    • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
    • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a discretionary payment.

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. The parent or guardian of these contacts may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.

Can other people I am living with make a claim?

If there are other people living in your household, then they can make their own application to the scheme, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I claim on someone else’s behalf?

You can apply on someone else’s behalf, but the £500 must be paid into the bank account in the name of the person you are applying on behalf of. For example, if you are applying on behalf of a parent, the money must be paid into your parent’s bank account.

I have been asked to self-isolate more than once. Can I claim again?

If you are told to self-isolate more than once, you will be able to apply for the payment again, as long as you still meet the eligibility criteria and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

I have been notified to isolate by the NHS Covid-19 App, can I make a claim?

If you have been notified to isolate by the app you will need to follow some steps to get your own unique Test and Trace ID number, which you will need to make an application from this scheme. Please visit the NHS website for more details.

How long do I have to claim?

From 17 March 2021, the deadline to submit an application has been extended to 42 days from the first day of your self-isolation period. This means that someone who began isolating on 17 March must submit their application by 28 April 2021. Unfortunately, applications submitted after the 42-day deadline will be rejected.

Tax and the Self-Isolation Support Payment scheme

Payments made under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme are subject to income tax (if you’re a taxpayer) but not National Insurance contributions. If you’re employed, HMRC will automatically recover the tax from your pay with a change to your tax code.

Self-employed recipients will need to report the payment on their 2020 to 2021 Self Assessment tax return.

Apply for a self-isolation support payment

 We are currently receiving a very high volume of applications for self-isolation payment.

We deal with applications in date order and there is a delay to our processing time due to the number of applications we have received. We thank you for your patience.

Do I need a PCR test?

From Tuesday 11 January 2022, if you receive a positive lateral flow result for COVID-19, you will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

However, if you are eligible for the £500 Self-Isolation Test and Trace Support Payment you will still need to take a confirmatory PCR even if you receive a positive LFD result, to enable you to access the financial support.

Apply for a Self-isolation Support Payment

If you are unable to complete this form online or need help completing it, then please call 01905 722233, then select Option 8 and then Option 4. You will be asked to leave a voicemail message and someone will get back to you and set up a mutually convenient telephone appointment to take you through the application process. You will be advised of any information that will be required to complete the application.

Other financial support

If you are on a low income but do not qualify for a self-isolation support payment, or the local discretionary scheme, then you may be able to apply for Statutory Sick Pay, Universal Credit or another benefit.

Other help while you are self-isolating

If you need help while you are self-isolating, such as deliveries of food or medicine, then please fill in the Worcestershire Here 2 Help I need help form.

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