Test and trace support payments
Test and Trace support payment for children who are isolating
If your child has been told to self-isolate as a result of being in close contact with someone in their education setting who has tested positive, you may be entitled to a payment if you need to take time off work to care for them if they are under the age of 16.
Update on 16th August 2021
From 16th August 2021 children under 18 years and 6 months will no longer be required to isolate if they are identified as a contact of a positive case, and therefore will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.
However, if you are unable to work from home to care for your child under 16 who has tested positive and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a payment.
Or, if your child is 18-25 years old, has an Educational Health Care Plan and must self-isolate because they are not fully vaccinated and you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for a payment.
Can I use this scheme if my child has tested positive?
No, if your child has tested positive you can must apply via the main Test and Trace support scheme.
Who will receive this payment?
You will be entitled to a £500 support payment if you meet all of the following requirements:
- 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 them whilst they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the isolation period.
- You are employed or self-employed.
- You cannot work from home whilst undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
- The child or young person:
- is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC) and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
- has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
- You are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
If you are not receiving one of the above benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you hardship, or you do not currently have Recourse to Public Funds, you may still be entitled under a special discretionary scheme.
To be considered for the discretionary scheme you need evidence that:
- Your household is on a low income. We will look at whether your level of household income for the period of self-isolation would normally be eligible for state benefits.
- You have basic living costs that you cannot meet such as rent, food, fuel etc and don't have savings or other income to meet these costs.
The child or young person must have been told to self-isolate on or after 8th March 2021. Applications can be backdated to 8th March 2021 and you will be eligible for the payment if you meet all other eligibility criteria for the main scheme or discretionary scheme. You can apply up to six weeks (42 days) after the first day of self-isolation.
Before you start
You will need the following information to complete this form:
- A copy of your latest bank statement issued in the last two months. This can be a photo but must clearly show proof of earnings
- Proof of self-employment such as a recent business bank statement issued in the last two months, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
- To consent for us to access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm your eligibility. Read the NHS Test and Trace privacy notice
- To consent to us verifying your loss of income by contacting your employer
- Your National Insurance number
- Child or young person's details including:
- Main address
- Education or care setting and year group. You must include contact details for the setting such as an email address or phone number.
- Date of child's first day of self-isolation
- Whether they have an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is to support applications from parents and guardians of young people between 16-25 who have additional support needs.
You must also provide one of the following as supporting evidence:
- The child or young person's 8-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children who have received notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
- Communication from the child or young person's education or childcare setting confirming they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children who have been told to self-isolate because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
- Screenshot of a young person's NHS Covid-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 App.
We cannot accept applications without at least one of the three pieces of supporting evidence listed above.
How to apply
You can apply up to 42 days after the first day of the isolation period. We cannot accept applications after this.
Please note that if your child has tested positive you can must apply via the main Test and Trace support scheme.
What happens next?
The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.
We will review your application and carry out the necessary checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax purposes, and NHS Test and Trace (if applicable) and the child or young person's education or childcare setting to confirm their self-isolation status.
If we are able to verify your entitlement we will contact you to confirm when you will receive your payment.