Coronavirus : Self-isolation payments

Self-isolation payments

It is now a legal requirement for those testing positive for COVID-19, or those identified by NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone with the virus, to self-isolate for 10 days.

On 20 September, the Government announced a new national Test and Trace Support scheme. Under the new scheme, payments of £500 will be available for residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, providing that their period of self-isolation started on or after 28 September 2020.

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a Discretionary Payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person.

From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. 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 Payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. However, please note if your child has tested positive you may still be eligible to claim this payment as a contact regardless of whether you are fully vaccinated.

Self-Isolation rules have not changed for anyone who has tested positive and you can still claim the test and trace support payment.

The Test and Trace Support scheme is currently due to end on 31 March 2022.

Who is eligible for the Test and Trace support payment?

People who live in the Cherwell area and have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate or parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate but need to take time off work to care for a child or young person will be entitled to a £500 support payment if all the following criteria are met:

  • You comply with the NHS test and Trace notification to self-isolate or are a parents or guardian who is not legally required to self-isolate but need to take time off work to care for a child or young person told to isolate
  • You are employed or self employed
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • You are in receipt of one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support allowance
    • Income based Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

If you are not receiving one of these benefits but are on low income and will suffer financial hardship because of self-isolation you may be entitled to a discretionary payment. Please note that we have limited funding for this.

Parents and Guardians

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a Discretionary Payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person.

The Applicants must:

  • Be 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 while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • Be employed or self-employed.
  • Be unable to work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a test and trace support payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.

The Child must:

  • Be 15 years of age or under (or 25 or under with an education, health and care plan and normally attends an education or childcare setting)
  • Has been told to 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.

How much is the payment?

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. These payments will be subject to income tax but not national insurance contributions

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate ie your period of self-isolation before the Test and Trace Payment Scheme launched (28 September 2020)
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • Applicants who are not working due to being furloughed

What evidence will I need to provide to apply for the payment?

  • Notification form NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (including your unique ID number) or
  • For parents/guardians of children told to isolate;
    • The child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
    • a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, or
    • a 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.
  • A bank statement
  • Proof of employment, or if you are self-employed, self-employment assessment returns, trading income and proof that you cannot work from home and that you will not receive any employment or business income for the isolation period

How do I apply?

Please do not delay in applying for financial support to self-isolate.

Complete the application form which covers both the Support Payments and Discretionary Payments and we will assess your eligibility.

Apply for self-isolation payment

If you are eligible, we will aim to make payment to make payment to you within 3 working days of receiving a completed application form with all the required evidence.

If you are unable to complete the form, please contact us on 01295 227002 and we will complete the form on your behalf.

Before you start making your application please make sure you have the following information:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of self-employment eg recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of your NHS Account ID for coronavirus COVID-19 or;
    • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
    • Your National Insurance Number

Can someone else make an application on your behalf?

Someone else can fill out an application form for you, or you can fill out an application form on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else; payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.