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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates for residents and businesses

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test & Trace - Support Payment Scheme

Virus Shield

We are currently experiencing a high demand for Test & Trace support payments and our team are very busy processing the applications.

In order for us to process your claim as soon as possible, please try to avoid contacting us once you have submitted your application and we will notify you of the outcome of your application as soon as possible.

If you do need to contact us in exceptional circumstances only, please e-mail and quote your FS reference number in the subject line. 

Changes to self-isolation requirements

As a reminder, from 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for Test & Trace support payments from 16 August 2021 (unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible).

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 & Trace support payments if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, 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).

If a young person aged under 25 has been identified as a close contact and they have an Education, Health and Care plan, their parents or guardians may be eligible if they need to stay at home to look after them.

The application form can be accessed from the link under the register a claim - application form tab below but please read the eligibility criteria first for the Standard or Discretionary Support Payment Scheme depending on your circumstances before making a claim. Please also refer to privacy notices for how your data will stored and used which can be downloaded from this page.

Please also be aware that 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 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

Am I eligible for the Test and Trace Standard Support Payment?

To be eligible for the support payment you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 
  • you have an NHS Test and Trace ID.
  • be employed or self-employed, unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • be currently 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.
  • From 08th March 2021 if you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) who normally attends an education or childcare setting and they have 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, so long as the start date of their isolation period is on or after 8th March 2021. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person's self-isolation period.

   However, if your child has tested positive for Covid-19, you will need to make an application under your name once you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and told to isolate yourself.

You will also need to:

  • agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace
  • provide your notification from NHS Test and Trace
  • provide proof of address, and bank statements
  • confirm benefits eligibility

We will have checks in place to prevent and detect fraud

or am I eligible for the Test and Trace Discretionary Support Payment?

If you are not in receipt of any of the benefits described above but satisfy all other criteria you may be able to apply for a discretionary support payment but in addition to the government eligibility criteria the following conditions are also included in our discretionary scheme:

  • A maximum gross earnings threshold of £380 per week (this equates to 40 hours x £9.50 of the real living wage). This means that if someone has earnings above this level then they would not normally be eligible unless there was an exceptional circumstance.
  • A minimum number of hours that an individual will need to be working is 16 hours per week. Anyone normally working less than that would not be eligible.
  • Maximum capital threshold of £6,000. Anyone with capital above that level would not be eligible.
  • University students or those in higher education would normally be excluded from applying.
  • Individuals who have applied for a qualifying benefit but have not yet received a decision or have appealed against a decision not to award a qualifying benefit and are awaiting the outcome of the appeal will be eligible to claim.

How much will I get?

You will receive a lump sum payment of £500. The payment will not reduce the amount of any other benefit you get.

What information do I need before I start my application?

Please ensure that you have the below information available before starting the application:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your 8-character NHS Test and Trace Account ID
  • your most recent bank statement, wage slip or proof of self-employment

You will not be able to complete the form without these details and will need to upload the evidence in order for the claim to go through.

Register a claim - Application Form

If you think you qualify for either of the above payments please click on this link to apply Test & Trace Support Claim Form

Further Information - FAQ

I have an overdraft with my bank - how do I stop my grant being used to repay this? You can protect this payment by writing to your bank or building society telling it to to use the money only in certain ways. This is know as a "first right of appropriation of funds order". Further information and an example template you can use can be found in the separate guidance document on this page.

Will this payment be taxed? This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

How long will this be in place for? The scheme will run until 31/03/2022.

Can I claim this payment more than once? Yes, if you are told to self-isolate on more than one occasion between 28 September 2020 and 31 March 2022 you can claim for each time.

Can I claim this payment on behalf of my family members? Applications are for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.


Further Support Options:

Devon County Council Support Pages

Devon & Cornwall Police Support Pages

Torridge Citizens Advice Bureau - For advice including benefits, universal credit, housing, employment, debt, consumer and legal issues Coronavirus what it means for you

Domestic Abuse Support - Isolation may increase domestic abuse - help is available

Family Support - Devon Family Resource have put together a great tool kit for families in isolation.

Money Advice Service has a good page - Coronavirus - what it means for you and what you're entitled to looks at rights to sick pay, benefits you can claim if you're self-employed or not entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

Encompass a free and confidential advice service is able to help if you have any concerns or questions about Welfare Benefits, Money, Housing or Mental Health Support - please call 01271 371499 and select option 1 to speak to a trained adviser - open Mon-Fri 9.30am - 3pm.

Teen Talk South West is a National Lottery Funded Chatline, which seeks to support young people (aged 12-19) during these uncertain times. Feel free to look at their Facebook page.

Mental Health Support Options:

Updated September 2021



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