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Test & Trace Support Payment

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2. Details about the support payments

Do I qualify?

The support will take the form of a single payment of £500 for people aged 16 or over who:

  • Have been told to isolate by NHS Test & Trace or your child has been told to isolate by either NHS Test and Trace or their school / nursery and

  • Are employed or self-employed and

  • Are unable to work from home and

  • Will lose income as a result of being instructed to isolate and

  • Are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits

    • Universal Credit

    • Working Tax Credits

    • Income related Employment and Support Allowance

    • Income based Jobseekers Allowance

    • Income Support

    • Pension Credit

    • Housing Benefit

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test & Trace or to ensure that your child does.


How do I claim?

To receive the support you will need to make a claim and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. No claim can be accepted without either a valid Test & Trace reference number or the letter from your child’s school or nursery. The online claim form can be accessed on mobile phones or tablets. You will need to upload evidence to support your claim, for example photographs of your payslips or screenshots of Track & Trace ID.


When do I need to claim?

You must make your claim within 42 days of the start of your period of isolation. So if you were told to isolate for 10 days starting on 4 April you would have to make your claim by 15 May.


What proof do I need to provide?

The evidence we will need to see is:

  • Your Track and Trace ID – you could find this in the SMS text or email you were sent by NHS Test & Trace.

  • The letter from your child’s school or nursery instructing them to isolate.
  • A recent bank statement – this can be a photograph or screenshots of a recent statement. The statement needs to be your most recent and show your name and address.

  • Your latest payslip or statement of accounts for your self-employment. Again photographs or screenshots are fine.

  • A copy of the Education, Health and Care Plan for young people (aged 16-25) who have been instructed to isolate by NHS Test & Trace or their education setting.

We will check the answers you give and verify the evidence you provide to confirm your eligibility. More information on how we will use your data can be found in the Privacy Notice for this scheme.


What if I can’t use the online form?

If you are having difficulties with the online form or uploading evidence you can call us on 01392 265440 for help.


When will I hear about my claim?

You will get an automated email when you submit your claim, telling you that we have got it. We are currently receiving very high numbers of claims each day. We will look at your claim in the order in which it is received and as soon as we possibly can. If you have not heard from us within a week of making your claim please email We will email you as soon as your claim has been looked at to tell you either:

  • Your claim has been successful and a payment will be issued or
  • We need further information to decide your claim or
  • Your claim does not meet the eligibility conditions of the scheme


When will I receive the money?

If your claim is successful we will make payment directly to your bank account. Please note payment will only be made to an account belonging to the eligible person. The payment should be available to you within two to three working days. If you are in immediate financial hardship please contact us on 01392 265440.


What if my account is overdrawn?

You can prevent your bank using this payment to reduce your overdraft. You will need to contact your bank before the payment is made to your account. This protection is called first right of appropriation.


Can my partner claim as well?

Entitlement and payment is based on an individual’s circumstances. So if both you and your partner meet ALL of the qualifying conditions, you can each make a separate claim. Only one parent or guardian can claim for looking after a child / young person told to isolate. However if you have both received your own instructions to isolate from NHS Test & Trace then you can each claim.


Can I claim more than once?

You can only receive one payment for any continuous isolation period. However if you are instructed to isolate for a second time, beginning after the first period has ended, you can make a second claim.

Further information can be found in the Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme policy


Discretionary scheme

Alongside the standard scheme of support outlined above there is also a scheme of  discretionary support available. This is for low income workers who are facing hardship as a result of an instruction to self-isolate. It can help if you meet all of the eligibility conditions (as listed at the start of this page) except that you do not currently receive a qualifying benefit. This might be for example because a benefit claim hasn’t been assessed yet or you are appealing against a decision to refuse your benefit claim. You might also be able to get the discretionary support if you are prevented from receiving welfare benefits because of the "persons from abroad" rules.

To claim the discretionary support you will need to complete the same application form and answer some extra questions. The additional conditions are:

  • You normally work or carry out self-employed work for at least 16 hours each week and

  • You normally earn less than £380 per week before deductions or your normal average weekly income from self-employment is less than £380 after expenses and

  • You are not in full time education and

  • You do not have access to £6,000 or more capital or savings

You may still be able to receive a payment if you don’t meet the extra conditions but have exceptional circumstances. In all cases you will need to tell us about the financial hardship you are facing as a result of isolating.

In line with the standard scheme, payments are a flat rate of £500 per qualifying individual.

Further information can be found in the Test and Trace Discretionary Payments Scheme policy.


What if I am unhappy with a decision?

If you think the decision to refuse your claim is wrong you can ask us to look at the decision again. Email or write to us with any further relevant information and the reason you think you are eligible. Your case will be looked at again by a more senior officer


In the meantime, if you are suffering financial hardship there is other help and support available. Please see further information on the Exeter Wellbeing Support Fund or call that team on 01392 265000.