Test and Trace Support Payment scheme FAQs
Changes from 16 August 2021
From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for Test and Trace Support Payments from 16 August 2021 (unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible).
From this date, anyone under 18 who is a contact will also be exempt from self-isolation. This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for Test and Trace Support Payments if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians will still be eligible, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child).
More information on the removal of self-isolation for double-jabbed close contacts from 16 August on GOV.UK.
Test and trace for those tested as positive for COVID-19 or for those identified as a close contact
If someone is instructed to self-isolate on more than one occasion are they given a different 8-digit ID for each self-isolation period?
Yes, a new ID is issued for each self-isolation period, the unique ID is linked to that isolation period and not the person.
Can an individual claim more than once? If so, is the process the same as for initial claim?
Yes, provided the eligibility criteria are met on each separate occasion and the self-isolation period for which they are claiming doesn't overlap with a previous self-isolation period. The process should be the same as for any other claim.
What about multiple claims from households - will this be allowed?
Yes, provided each applicant meets the relevant criteria.
The guidelines suggest there must be a positive contact from NHS Test and Trace to qualify for payment, what if someone hasn't been contacted, but are self-isolating (correctly)? Who and how do they contact to obtain the relevant registration detail?
The duty to self-isolate - and eligibility for payment - applies only where someone has been formally notified to self-isolate, either because they have received a positive test result or because a person who has tested positive has identified them as a contact.
This does put the onus on people who have tested positive to share accurate information about their recent contacts. It would not be appropriate to pay someone who has simply been told by a friend that they ought to self-isolate, without that friend having formally notified NHS Test and Trace who their contacts are (for which they will be under a legal duty not to knowingly provide false information). The legal duty - and the payments - also do not apply to people isolating because they or another member of their household has symptoms.
What if applicants (who are self-isolating) are seeing a reduction in income as they are still on furlough, so the income reduction isn't because they aren't able to work because of self-isolating?
They will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment. The applicant will need to provide a declaration that they are losing income because they are unable to work because they are self-isolating. There will need to be post-payment verification checks with employers, which could include checking they were not on furlough.
There is currently a demand on testing, it could be that people lose income before any tests and subsequent results are received; how is this being provisioned for?
Both the £500 payment (for eligible individuals) and the legal duty to self-isolate will apply only where someone has tested positive or has been notified that they are the close contact of someone who has tested positive.
Where a symptomatic person orders a test, then - provided the test is taken within given days - the period for which they must self-isolate, if they test positive, will be ten days from the date of their first symptom onset. The length of time (within the five-day period) before taking a test and the length of time to get test results will not affect the period for which they are legally obliged to self-isolate.
Where a symptomatic person tests negative, we appreciate that delays in testing will extend the period for which they have had to self-isolate (by virtue of guidance rather than legal duty), but it would be impracticable to offer financial support to everyone self-isolating because they have symptoms. Testing capacity continues to be expanded, with the aim of having capacity for 500,000 daily tests by the end of October, in order to meet increases in demand.
Test and trace for parents and guardians of children or young persons who are required to self isolate
Can both parents claim for this payment?
No. It is limited to one parent or Guardian per household for the child or young person's isolation period. If you have two children isolating at one time in the same household, it is still limited to one parent or guardian.
My child's school has closed down due to the virus. Can I still claim?
No. your child must be identified as a close contact or have tested positive before a payment can be made. You must supply a letter from the Education or Care provider that your child has been identified as a close contact. This will then be confirmed directly with the relevant establishment.
My child has been kept off school as he is displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
You will not be eligible for this payment if your child is unwell. However, you will be able to make a claim if a test comes back as positive.
What counts as an educational establishment or child care setting?
A school, nursery or pre school, an Ofsted registered child minder, or a college for young people with an Educational Health and Care plan in place, or. It does not include friends , families, neighbours, au pairs or live in care providers.