From Monday 28 September, in some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate, you may be supported by a payment of £500, payable from North Norfolk District Council

social support through self-isolation

On 20 September 2020, the Government announced a new national Test and Trace Support Scheme which started on 28 September 2020, for certain people who are required by law to self-isolate. If the NHS has told you to self-isolate because you have tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19) or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. In that case, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

What is the aim of the payment?

The scheme is to make sure that people on low incomes self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact and to encourage more people to get tested. This scheme will help reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and avoid further social and economic restrictions, including lockdowns.

View the support payment policy for further details. 

How much is the payment?

Individuals required to self-isolate who meet the eligibility criteria will be entitled to a payment of £500 to cover the period of isolation. The payment will be subject to income tax but not subject to National Insurance contributions. The local authorities will work with HMRC to make sure the details of eligible applicants are passed on to the HMRC.

How long will the scheme be in place?

The scheme at North Norfolk District Council will run from Monday 12th October 2020.  The scheme is currently due to end on 31st March 2022.

Who can apply

You will need to live in the North Norfolk District Council area and have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, or you have been identified as a close contact via the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020. 

From 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means you will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate and if all criteria below are met, may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

From 8 March 2021, eligibility for test and trace payments will be extended to parents and guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate but who need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate.

As of 16 August 2021, people under 18 who have been identified as a recent contact of someone with COVID 19 will no longer have to self-isolate.

This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate.

Children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, and 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).

Applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria for a main support payment or discretionary payment as shown below.

To be eligible for the payment you must meet the following criteria:

  • You meet the existing means-tested and employment related eligibility criteria for the standard and discretionary schemes.
  • 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 while they self-isolate.  This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period.
  • The child or young person:
    • is aged 15 or under (or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting who 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.

Parents and guardians can make a claim if their child’s first day of self-isolation is Monday 8 March 2021 or later.

Parents and guardians of children whose self-isolation period began before Monday 8 March 2021 will not be eligible.

You will also need to meet all of the following requirements:

  • You’ve been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, either because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

  • You’ve responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (by email, text, letter or phone call) in which you provided your contact details and where you’ve tested positive, and the details of your contacts.

  • You’re employed or self-employed.

  • You’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating.

  • You’re currently receiving, or are the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving, at least one of the following:

-   Universal Credit

-   Working Tax Credit

-   Income-based Employment and Support Allowance

-   Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance,

-   Income Support

-   Housing Benefit

-   Pension Credit.

Discretionary Payment

If you satisfy the first four requirements but not the fifth you may be eligible for a Discretionary Payment of £500.

You must:

  • Have household capital (savings) of less than £10,000
  • Have household gross earnings of less than The Minimum Income Standards earnings level which are currently:
    • £50,000 for a family
    • £40,000 for a couple with no children
    • £30,000 for a single person
    and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you’re self-isolating.

Please apply using our online form below.

View the discretionary payment policy for further details.

NHS Covid-19 app - check if you can apply for the Test and Trace support payment 

The following video shows you how the NHS Covid-19 app allows you to check if you can apply for financial support. You will need to have the latest version of NHS Covid-19 App installed.

How to apply

You can apply for the Test and Trace support payment or discretionary payment using our online form.

Apply now

Before you apply

You will need copies of the following information to upload as part of the application process:

  • bank statement (one issued within the last two months, which must clearly show proof of earnings if you are employed).
  • Proof of self-employment, e.g. your most recent set of accounts or evidence of your most recent self-assessment return.
  • Proof of your notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate which will have unique Test and Trace account ID on it.

You will also need your:

  • National Insurance number
  • 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID.

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 10-day quarantine period).
  • You continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • You can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Your period of self-isolation ended before the Self-Isolation Payment scheme launched on 28 September.
  • You have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
  • You have been furloughed, and your income is lower than usual.

Further information

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), find out how to share your details with NHS Test and Trace.

There is also advice if you're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app

If you have an enquiry regarding the NHS Test and Trace process or you are having difficulty obtaining an NHS Test and Trace ID number, you can also contact the NHS on 119 for assistance.

Frequently asked questions 

Are fully vaccinated adults still eligible for the scheme?

As of 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means they are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. Fully vaccinated adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate. They are still eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Why are most parents and guardians no longer eligible?

As of 16 August 2021, people under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. This means that their parent/guardian will no longer need to care for them while they self-isolate, as they can continue to leave home to attend school, college etc.   Some people aged 18-25 with EHC Plan (EHC) will still be required to self-isolate if they are not fully vaccinated. Their parents/guardians may retain eligibility for TTSP if they still need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.

How do we define an ‘education or care setting’ for applications from parents/guardians?

An education or childcare setting is somewhere that is registered with the local authority where the child would spend most of the weekday during term-time. Schools, nurseries and care settings for 16-25 year-olds with additional support needs are included. Things that are not covered include unregistered childcare providers, informal childcare arrangements, home-schooling and after-school/weekend/holiday activities (e.g. Scouts/Guides, sports clubs, summer camps). This is not an exhaustive list.

Is the payment taxable?

This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

What happens if I’m self-employed?

The payment will be a coronavirus support payment and therefore a revenue receipt of your business, contributing towards your profits. The payment will need to be included on your Self-Assessment Tax Return along with any other coronavirus support payments you may have received.

What happens if I’m employed?

There is nothing you need to do. If your income for the year is not more than £12,500, you will not have any tax to pay. If tax is due, HMRC will automatically recover it from your pay through a change in your tax code. HMRC will send you a new tax code notice.

Can I receive the payment whilst in receipt of Statutory Sick Pay?

Claimants can claim Statutory Sick Pay as well as a Test and Trace Support Payment, but not contractual sick pay from their employer. Employers can claim Statutory Sick Pay Reimbursement for those self-isolating.

Does the payment impact existing benefit entitlements?

No, the payment does not affect your entitlement to:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance,
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Housing Benefit

The payment will also be disregarded as income for the purposes of tax credits.

Can more than one member of a household apply?

Yes. People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, as long as they each meet the eligibility criteria.

What if I have to self-isolate on more than one occasion?

You can claim more than once (if told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

For example, you claim for a period of self-isolation lasting from 1 October to 14 October and then claim again for the second period of self-isolation beginning on 10 October. You would only be allowed to claim once because the two periods overlap. However, you would be allowed to claim for the second period of self-isolation that began after the first period had ended on 14 October.

Can I make a claim after my period of self-isolation has ended?

For any claim made on or after Monday 18 January 2021, you can claim up to 28 days after the first day of your self-isolation period.

For any claim made on or after 8 March 2021, you can claim up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first day of your self-isolation period.  For example, if you were told to self-isolate on 8 March, you must apply by 19 April 2021.

Can someone claim on my behalf?

You can ask someone to claim on your behalf. However, the payment of £500 must be paid into the bank account of the person named on the application. For example, if someone applied on behalf of a parent, the payment would be made into the parent's bank account.

Can I apply if I am being paid under the furlough scheme?

If you are currently furloughed, you can claim the payment, as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria.

What if I am overdrawn when you make the payment?

To stop the bank from using the payment to reduce your overdraft, you can exercise your first right of appropriation. You will need to write to your bank, making it clear that the payment is to support you while you are self-isolating under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Keep a copy of your letter in case there is any dispute later.

What if I am unable to provide the evidence requested to support my application?

If you have difficulty in providing the evidence to support your application, you may be able to use the evidence we already hold, as long as it is less than three months old. For example, if you are claiming Housing Benefit, you may have sent us your wage slips within the last three months.

If you are struggling to find evidence, please contact the Benefits Team at testandtracepayments@north-norfolk.gov.uk and we will try to assist in any way we can. 

If my application is rejected, can I appeal against the decision?

There is no right of appeal against any decision not to award the standard payment and discretionary payment. This decision was made because you haven't met the eligibility criteria. If you do not understand why your application is unsuccessful, please contact us at testandtracepayments@north-norfolk.gov.uk.

Who does the legal duty apply to?

Anyone notified of a positive test result and any of their notified contacts, other than those notified through the NHS Covid-19 App is under a legal duty to self-isolate. Guidance continues to make clear that people who have symptoms should self-isolate while they get a test.

Those testing positive for COVID-19 are legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 10 days after the onset of symptoms or, for people who did not have symptoms when they were tested, 10 days after the date of the test. Other members of their household are legally obliged to self-isolate for a period ending 14 days after the onset of the infected person’s symptoms (or, if they were asymptomatic, after the date of the test). Non-household contacts are obliged to self-isolate for the period notified to them by NHS Test and Trace (the period ending 14 days after their most recent exposure to the person who has tested positive).

What is the role of local authorities in supporting the requirement to self-isolate?

NHS Test and Trace and local authorities will continue to work together to help make sure that people understand their obligations on self-isolation and why it is so important to self-isolate – and help them access any support they need to do so. Local authorities will focus on the principle of encouraging, educating and supporting self-compliance – they will not be expected to enforce the legal requirements.

Local authorities should pass on the details of anyone they suspect of breaking the rules to the police. Where there is clear evidence that someone is not following the rules, the police will decide what follow-up action to take and, where necessary, issue fixed penalty notices.