From 16 August 2021, all individuals who are exempt from the legal requirement to self-isolate, (which includes individuals who have already received 2 vaccinations when they are named as a contact of a person aged 16 or above who has tested positive for Coronavirus) will not be eligible to apply for a Test & Trace Support Payment.  Applications received of this nature will not be considered.

The NHS inform us of how many vaccinations a person has received to confirm eligibility.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is for employed or self-employed people on low incomes who are required by law to self-isolate, cannot work from home and will not continue to receive full wages during the period of self-isolation. In these circumstances, the personal NHS 8 digit account ID issued by the NHS Tracing team by text or email will be required to make an application.

You can apply up to 42 days after your first day of self-isolation. For example, if the period of self-isolation started on 1 April 2021, an application can still be made up to 13 May 2021.

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme will end on 31 March 2022.

Who should apply

People living in Torbay who are required by law to self-isolate, or a named contact parent of a positive case child aged under 16,  and have received their own personal 8 digit NHS account ID from NHS Test and Trace can apply for a Self-Isolation Payment providing the applicant satisfies the following four requirements:

  • you comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate;
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home during the period of self-isolation and will lose income as a result
  • you have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call)

There are two elements to the scheme, main scheme payment and a discretionary scheme payment. To qualify for a main scheme payment you must currently be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Income base Job Seeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit

If you are not receiving one of these benefits, but still meet all the other eligibility criteria, you can make an application for a discretionary payment. This is for individuals on a low income (regularly receiving gross earnings of less than £396 per week prior to the period of self-isolation) and are unable to work from home.

For full details of the discretionary payment scheme please see our Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme policies.

Who is not eligible

You will not be eligible for the scheme if:

  • you are a named contact of a person aged 16 or above who has tested positive for Coronavirus and you are exempt from self-isolation.  Exemption include individuals who are named as a contact and have received 2 vaccinations, or are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, or are below the age of 18 years and 6 months, or have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial.
  • you are quarantining after travelling abroad
  • you will continue to receive full wages for the period of self-isolation
  • you can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • An 8 digit account ID from NHS Test and Trace has not been issued 

Parent and guardian applications     

Since 16 August 2021, children under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a named contact of a positive case individual.  This means that most parents and guardians  will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment unless their child tests positive via a PCR test.   

Parents and guardians of children who have been sent home from school or registered childcare settings because they have Coronavirus ‘symptoms’ are also not eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.  These parents and guardians will only be eligible if the child tests positive for Coronavirus via a PCR test, at which point the child will be required to self-isolate.

A parent and guardian application should only be made where a dependent child/young person in the same household is:

  • aged under 16 has tested positive and the parent or guardian is required to stay at home to look after their positive case child during the period of self-isolation.  
  • aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan has tested positive and needs to stay at home to self-isolate.
  • aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been named as a close contact of a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus. 
  • attending an education or care setting;
  • meeting all the other eligible criteria required for Test and Trace Support payment. 

For these parent and guardian applications, the child’s NHS 8 digit account ID must be stated on the application form completed in the name of the parent or guardian.  Images of the child’s NHS 8 digit account ID should also be uploaded as supporting information.

If the parent or guardian has not been double vaccinated, they can alternatively apply in their own right as having being a named close contact of the positive case child on the child's NHS track and trace account.  For these applications, the close contact parent’s NHS 8 digit account ID must be stated on their application form and images of their NHS 8 digit account ID should also be uploaded as supporting information.

How much funding will be provided?

If eligible a lump sum payment of £500 will be paid to cover the period of isolation.

The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 21/22 Self-Assessment tax return.

You can apply by completing the application. If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on your payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you’re self-employed, you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return.

Important: When making your application, you must upload the following supporting evidence documents. Your application cannot be processed without this information.

  • Your most recent payslip for work immediately prior to self-isolation
  • If Self-employed, proof of Self-employed registration with HMRC,  proof of trading immediately prior to self-isolation and self-employed income figures for July. 
  • A bank statement in your name, clearly showing the account name, sort code and full account number. 
  • A screen shot of the text or email notification issued from ‘NHS Test & Trace service’ displaying your personal 8 digit NHS account ID.    
  • Do not apply if you are named as a contact for a person aged 16 or above when you have already received 2 vaccinations, as you will not be eligible.  Applications of this nature will not be considered. The NHS inform us of how many vaccinations a person has received to confirm eligibility.

After 16 August, do not apply if you are named as a contact and have already received 2 vaccinations, as you will not be eligible. Applications received of this nature will not be considered. The NHS inform us of how many vaccinations a person has received to confirm eligibility.

  Apply for a test and trace support payment

Any additional supporting evidence documents can be uploaded using the link below.

  Upload additional evidence documents for your test and trace support payment claim

The data you provide on this form will be used to assess your eligibility for this support payment and will be processed in accordance with data protection legislation.  Further information about how we use your personal data can be found in our privacy notices

Applications and enquiries

If you require assistance completing the application, please contact Tel: 01803 207201. For enquiries regarding applications already submitted, please contact Tel: 01803 207201 or email testandtracepayment@torbay.gov.uk

Can a bank take my test and trace support payment to pay my overdraft?

You can protect your test and trace support payment award by telling your bank it is required to support you financially during your period of self-isolation when you are unable to work. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.

You need to write to your bank at least seven days before the payment is due, making it clear why you require access to these funds.

We have enclosed a sample letter that you can use to instruct your bank or building society: Please keep a copy for your own records.

  Download a sample first right of appropriation letter