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Keep Southwark Safe

COVID-19 Test and Trace support payments

If you’ve been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating.

You must claim within 42 days of your first day of self-isolation

Financial help is available only for those with very low earnings, who can’t work from home and will lose income as a result  To be eligible for a payment you must also have earnings at a level where you may receive an “in work benefit”, such as Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit. 

If you aren't receiving an “in work benefit”, such as Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, and have gross earnings of more than £350 per week (or about £18k per year) you won't be eligible for a payment and should not apply.

Who isn't eligible

You can't get the support payment and should not submit an application if ANY of the following applies to you:

  • haven't been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • continue to get full wages while you self-isolate
  • are on paid furlough
  • can work from home while self-isolating
  • started your period of self-isolation before 28 September 2020
  • aren't receiving an “in work benefit”, such as Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit, or have gross earnings of more than £350 per week (or about £18k per year)
  • Parents and guardians of children and young people who are self-isolating with symptoms (support under this section is only for those identified as being in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19)
  • Parents and guardians who have to take time off work because the education or care setting has closed

Who is eligible

You may be eligible for the support payment if you meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • be living the borough of Southwark
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • currently employed or self-employed;
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be receiving an “in work benefit”, such as Working Tax Credit or Universal Credit

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 discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is:

  • aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally 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.

People who qualify will receive a £500.00 lump sum payment - a cash amount roughly equivalent to earnings lost during the period they have to self-isolate.  If you have a partner who works, their earnings won't be taken into account when we decide whether you're eligible for a payment.

What to do if you've been told to self-isolate

You must stay at home. It's now a legal duty to self-isolate, as it's the best way to keep the community safe and stop more people from becoming infected.

Do not go to work, school, grocery shopping, GP surgery, hospital or public areas, and don't use public transport or taxis.

Read more about how to self-isolate and get support to stay safe at home

How long you need to self-isolate depends on if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) or you've been in close contact with someone who does.

More information about self-isolating:

Help someone else to apply or apply on their behalf

You can help someone else to apply or apply on their behalf, but you can't 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. 

Before you start

To apply you'll need:

  • proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
  • a copy of your latest bank statement (dated within the last two months which must show your name, address, account number and proof of earnings);
  • your most recent wage slip and your employer’s contact details if you are employed
  • either a recent business bank statement (within the last two months), or your most recent set of accounts or self-assessment return if you are self employed
  • your National Insurance Number.
  • the child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number (if provided)
  • NHS Test and Trace communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate.
  • a screenshot of the 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.

Fraud

You may be prosecuted if you give false or misleading information to get these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. You'll have to pay back any payment made as a result of fraud or error.

The government is helping us to make the checks to make sure that payments are made correctly.

Apply for a payment

Apply for a COVID-19 Test and Trace support payment

Page last updated: 06 April 2021

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