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What is the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

The Government launched the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in September 2020 to help people facing financial difficulty if they’ve been instructed to self-isolate.

If you've been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you've tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you've been in contact with someone who's tested positive and you have not been fully vaccinated, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period.

Please see www.gov.uk for the latest information.

Who's eligible for this scheme?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • live in the Mid Devon area
  • and;
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you 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 you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated;
  • and;
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts;
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be aged 16 or over
  • be currently receiving, or be the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Parents and Guardians

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a payment if the following criteria are met:

  • you 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;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person has:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education , Health and Care (EHC) Plan;

or

    • is aged 18-25, has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app) is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a payment (see the final four bullet points on the list shown above).

Apply for a main scheme Test and Trace payment here

 


Discretionary Test and Trace Payment

Who's eligible for this scheme?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • live in the Mid Devon area,
  • and;
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you 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 you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated;
  • and
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts
  • be employed or self-employed and normally earn less than £372 per week before deductions
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be aged 16 or over
  • have less than £6000 in savings

Parents and Guardians

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a payment if the following criteria are met:

  • you 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;
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person has:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education , Health and Care (EHC) Plan;
    • or
    • is aged 18-25, has been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app) is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a payment (see the final four bullet points on the list shown above)

Apply for a discretionary Test and Trace payment here


Can I get any help to complete an application?

You're allowed to have someone you know to help you complete the form or complete it on your behalf.

If you don’t have anyone who can help, an appointment can be made with one of our officers to complete the form with you over the phone. This will take longer than if you complete your own application online, which, if you're eligible, will delay any payment made. Please call us via 01884 255255 or email benefits@middevon.gov.uk to arrange a telephone appointment.

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your completed application and supporting evidence, we'll carry out the necessary checks to confirm you're eligible for a payment. If we're able to confirm you're entitled, we'll contact you to confirm when you'll receive your payment.

Please note, we can only make payments into the applicant’s bank account and not one belonging to anyone else.

Payments are subject to Tax, but exempt from any National Insurance contribution. You won't be taxed at the point of payment, but you will be contacted by HMRC at a later date.

If I receive a support payment, what am I required to do?

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace. If you are a parent or guardian with a child or young person who has been instructed to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive then you must ensure that they self-isolate.

The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements.


Practical support to help you self-isolate

You may need help with everyday tasks to help you self-isolate, from simple things like getting groceries or collecting medicines, to finding support for your mental wellbeing.

NHS Volunteer Responders can help with things like:

  • collecting shopping
  • collecting medicines and prescriptions
  • phone calls if you want to chat to someone

Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, everyday) to arrange help from a volunteer.

There are also a number of community groups who can help you with shopping, dog-walking, prescription collections and much more. See what might be available near you: Directory of Community Support Groups

Emergency funds may be available if you do not have enough money for food or other household essentials. See the Household Support Fund webpage for details.

If you are finding it difficult getting the help you need, you can request support directly through our online form or email covid19.support@middevon.gov.uk

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you've manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action. This may include any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Please note, if you are applying because your child has been instructed to self-isolate we will contact their school or childcare setting to verify this information.

Data sharing

Please refer our privacy notice for information on how we collect and process your data.

Statistics

This table shows the current statistics on the Test and Trace applications we've received. This information is current as at 18 October 2021.

How the applications have been dealt with

Number of applications

Total applications received

950

Main Scheme

490

Discretionary Scheme

460

Total applications paid

415 = £207,500

Main Scheme

207 = £103,500

Discretionary Scheme

208 = £104,000

Total application rejected

525

Main Scheme

274

Discretionary Scheme

251

Applications waiting assessment

10

Main Scheme

7

Discretionary Scheme

3

 

Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme Privacy Notice

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