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Coronavirus in Leicester

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Test and trace support payment

The government has introduced support payments of £500 if you cannot work because you’ve been instructed to self-isolate and are on a low income. From 7 April 2021 applications are also accepted for parents of children who need to self-isolate. The support payment scheme will run until 30 June 2021.

Self-isolation is one of our most powerful tools for controlling the spread of COVID-19.

You can pass it onto others even if you don’t have symptoms. You can also remain infectious for up to 10 days after developing symptoms.

Staying at home and self-isolating stops you passing on coronavirus to family, friends and others, and it helps protect the health and care system. You can find more information at GOV.UK - protecting yourself and others

Yes. If you test positive or are identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace, you must self-isolate by law. Your employer cannot knowingly enable or encourage you to do otherwise. Penalties include fines of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000.

You are only eligible for the £500 payment if the NHS COVID-19 app identified you as a close contact from 10 December 2020. You must register in the app for “financial support” and obtain your account ID before your self-isolation is due to end. Watch a government video to find out more.

Before 8 March 2021, you were only eligible if your child tested positive and you were identified as a contact by NHS Test & Trace.

If your child is asked to self-isolate after 8 March 2021 and you cannot work because you need to care for them, you may be eligible for a support or discretionary payment. You will still need to meet all of the other criteria listed in the sections below.

Your child must be under 16, or under 26 if they have special educational needs. You will need to provide your child’s account ID number (8-digit code), or a letter from their education provider, to confirm self-isolation, if no account number has been issued.

To be eligible for the test and trace support payment of £500, you must:

  • live in Leicester. If you live elsewhere, use the post code checker at GOV.UK to find out which local authority you can claim from
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace for 10 days because you've tested positive or because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • be employed (including under the furlough scheme, if you are still working part-time) or self-employed
  • not be able to work from home and you will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • receive at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal credit
    • Working tax credit
    • Income-based employment and support allowance
    • Income-based jobseeker’s allowance
    • Income support
    • Housing benefit
    • Pension credit.

We may be able to make a discretionary payment if you are not receiving a qualifying benefit, but you are in financial hardship and you:

  • live in Leicester. If you live elsewhere, use the post code checker at GOV.UK to find out which local authority you can claim from
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace for 10 days because you've tested positive or because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • are employed (including under the furlough scheme, if you are still working part-time) or self-employed
  • cannot work from home and you will lose income as a result of self-isolating.

In most circumstances, you will also need to meet one of the following:

  1. Not be entitled to statutory sick pay. For example, you have been employed for less than six months or earn less than an average of £120 per week.
  2. Receiving contribution-based or ‘new style’ jobseekers’ allowance or employment & support allowance, council tax support or a state retirement pension
  3. Receiving a disability benefit such as disability living allowance or personal independence payments.
  4. Have been waiting at least 14 days after you should have received a new benefit you’ve claimed, or a decision you’ve appealed.

We will also take into account:

  • your savings
  • whether your employment is vulnerable to COVID-19, for example zero-hours/temporary with weekly pay
  • whether your employer is vulnerable to COVID-19, for example factory work, childcare
  • how much of your income you have lost due to self-isolation.

The fund is limited and no further payments can be made after it is spent. You can find the full policy at the top of this page.

You will not qualify if you are:

  • quarantining after returning to the UK from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • furloughed, unless you have continued to work part-time before you self-isolated
  • applying more than 14 days after your self-isolation period ended
  • unable to provide all the evidence required within 14 days of your self-isolation ending
  • a parent or carer of a child asked to self-isolate before 8 March 2021, unless your child has tested positive.
  • identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 app before 10 December 2020.

You will need to provide: 

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you or your child to self-isolate, or the letter from your child's educational establishment
  • your account ID number, which can be found in your NHS Test and Trace notification, if you have one
  • a recent bank statement showing your name, sort code and account number. We accept screenshots. If you are applying under the discretionary payments part of the scheme your bank statement must cover the last 2 months from date of application
  • proof of employment such as wage slips, P60, your contract of employment, a letter from your employer or a bank statement showing your earnings. If you are self employed please provide last year’s self-employment tax return. If you have been trading for less than a year, provide proof of self-employed income within the last three months (receipts, invoices, or bank statements showing business income)
  • your national insurance number
  • if you are applying as a parent or carer of a child aged 16-25 with special educational needs, a screenshot of their notification from the NHS Test & Trace app asking them to self-isolate.
If you struggle to provide any of these, for example because you have been hospitalised or unwell, tell us about this on the application form.

For more details about how we will use your data see our privacy statement.

When you complete the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing journey you will receive a message by text, email or post (depending whether you have access to a mobile phone or email). The message contains the 8-character account ID.

If you were identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 app after 10 December 2020, you need to click on the option “financial support” in the app and complete the steps to register for an account ID number. You must do this during your 10-day self-isolation period.

If you are having difficulty finding your account ID or have other queries about Test and Trace, ring 119 and select the ‘Trace’ option.

Payments are made into a bank account in your name.

Your application may be refused unless your name and address are confirmed to match those registered to your bank account.

If your bank account is overdrawn, please see our information (PDF) for advice and contact your bank as soon possible before applying.

If you do not have a bank account, you cannot be awarded a payment. You can find more information at GOV.UK - basic bank accounts on how to open a basic bank account or contact Citizens Advice Leicestershire for more advice.

Payments will be subject to income tax, but not national insurance contributions. If you are self-employed, you should declare Test and Trace support payments to HMRC as part of your annual tax return.

No, they will be disregarded.

Yes, as long as the self-isolation periods do not overlap. This includes overlapping self-isolation periods in households where applications are made by parents and guardians of children or young people, even if the children needing to self-isolate or the adults looking after them are different.

You must meet all of the eligibility criteria and provide all required evidence each time.

Yes, people in the same household can each make an individual application to receive a payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria. If your child has been asked to self-isolate, only one parent or guardian per household will be eligible to receive a payment.

Yes, you must meet the same criteria, and not be off sick for an unrelated reason.

Yes, as long as you make your claim and provide all required evidence within 28 days of your period of self-isolation starting.

You will only be able to claim for a period of self-isolation after this date if you could not be issued with an account ID number for technical reasons, or if you were too ill in hospital to be able to comply with NHS Test & Trace requirements.

There are no formal appeal rights, but you can ask for a decision to be reviewed. Details are provided in the policy at the top of this page.

Yes – they will need to complete the Authority to disclose form (PDF) at the same time and upload the document with your application.

Before you start to complete the online form, please make sure that you have read the information on this page. You must meet the eligibility criteria and have the appropriate evidence ready to upload.

Then you can apply for the support payment online.

If you need help to complete the test and trace support payment application form, ask a family member or friend to do it for you or they can complete the C19 support form.

If you have no one to help you, email your name and phone number to C19support@leicester.gov.uk with the subject line ‘Test and trace support payments’ or call on 0116 454 1019. Our customer support team will contact you back Monday to Friday, between 9am and 4.30pm.

You can report a possible breach of coronavirus measures to Leicestershire Police.