Test and Trace Support Payment
This payment is designed to support people on low incomes who will lose income as a result of self-isolating, and to encourage them to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.
More information on this government announcement is available on the GOV.UK website.
Please read this page in full and consult the appropriate policy document before making an application for this support payment.
National Scheme (for those in receipt of certain benefits)
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment (National Scheme) an individual must meet all of the following:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, on or after 28 September but not before that date, because:
- they have been notified that they have tested positive for Coronavirus, or
- they have been notified that they have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- be employed or self-employed
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
- be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.
Please refer to the National Test and Trace Support Payment Policy before applying.
Discretionary Scheme (for those not in receipt of the benefits listed above)
If you are not currently receiving one of the incomes detailed above, but you meet all of the other eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment.
Please refer to the Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment Policy before applying.
For a claim to be considered, we must receive the claim and supporting evidence within 28 days from the start of the applicant’s period of self-isolation. We will be unable to accept any claims received after this point.
Eligible individuals who are told to self-isolate more than once, may make a claim for a further self-isolation period as long as the individual meets the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and the periods of self-isolation do not overlap.
The government has set out that the following supporting evidence (electronic evidence such as scanned images, photo images, screenshots) must be supplied with the application for the Test and Trace Support Payment:
- A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking that you self-isolate (this will include your unique 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID number)
- Recent proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (if applicable)
- A recent itemised bank statement (which shows the full name on the account, the full account number and sort code)
- Recent proof of employment (most recent payslip), or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
- Evidence of the financial hardship that will be faced (if applying for the Discretionary Scheme)
Individuals who are quarantining after returning to the UK
Individuals who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, are not eligible to be considered under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme, unless they have tested positive for Coronavirus or been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
If, after reading the above information, you believe that you may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment and your main place of residence is in the Mid Sussex District Council area, please apply online at https://midsussex.grantapproval.co.uk .
Where more than one individual in the same household has been told to self-isolate, they may each make a separate application to receive a Test and Trace Support Payment, if they meet the eligibility criteria in full.
If you need help with applying online, please call us on 01444 477264.
How to upload evidence after applying to support your claim
If you are unable to supply the supporting evidence required at the time of submitting the application, evidence can be uploaded to your application at a later date by logging back into your application portal.
The NHS Covid-19 App
Up until 10th December 2020, to be eligible for the scheme a person must have been contacted by a human tester working for NHS Test and Trace, either because they had tested positive or they had been in close contact with someone who had, and that contact had provided their details directly to NHS Test and Trace. This meant that anyone advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 App would not meet the requirements for the Test and Trace Support Payment.
From 10 December 2020, the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment will be extended to include NHS COVID-19 App users who live in England and have been notified only via the app that they have been in close contact with a positive case of coronavirus. An App user will need to follow some steps to request an 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID, and because app users are anonymous, they will need to leave the App to do this. They will need to register with NHS Test and Trace by following a link in the App.
The user must do this while they are in their self-isolation period. They will be unable to request an Account ID after they’ve finished self-isolating.
To start the process on the App, the user will need to select ‘Financial support’. This button appears on the home screen when an individual has been told to self-isolate via the App because they have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19. They will be taken to a website which will ask for some information to check whether they could be eligible. None of the information provided will be passed back to the NHS COVID-19 app. The App is designed to protect the user’s privacy and does not know who or where the user is located.
If answers show that a user may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, there are four steps to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment:
Step 1 - Confirm who you are with NHS login.
Step 2 - Enter personal details.
Step 3 - Register with NHS Test and Trace.
Step 4 - Apply to your local authority.
Right of Appropriation
If you know that your bank accounts are at risk and to avoid this payment being taken as soon as it has been deposited into your account, you could exercise your ‘first right of appropriation’. This is a temporary measure under common law, allowing you to earmark funds for specific essential bills, for example; your rent, your mortgage, and your gas or electricity.
You will need to put this request in writing to your bank or building society and list the bills you need to be earmarked.
If your bank or building society has already taken funds, leaving you with not enough to cover your essential bills, you should contact them anyway to discuss your circumstances and to request a full or partial refund to cover your essential living costs. If your bank or building society refuses your request, you should make a complaint to the bank.
When you make a 'first right of appropriation' request, your bank can make a decision to either freeze your account and/or remove an overdraft facility if you have one. You need to make sure that you can manage either or both of these situations before you make the request.