The government has announced the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. This scheme provides you with a payment of £500 if you are self-isolating and meet certain criteria.

This blog post will explain all about the new scheme and how you can apply.

How much is the payment and what are the criteria?

You could get a payment of £500 if you’re on a low income and meet all of the following conditions:

  • You’re employed or self-employed
  • You, or a child you’re the parent or guardian of, have been told to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income by self-isolating or staying at home to care for the child

When do I need to claim?

You need to claim within 42 days of you or the child’s first day of self-isolation.

Do I need to pay tax on the payment?

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment.

You must report the payment on your Self Assessment tax return if you need to file one, for example if you’re self-employed.

Where can I get this payment in the UK?

The payment is only available in England.

You might be eligible for the self-isolation support scheme in Wales, the self-isolation support grant in Scotland or support if you’re in Northern Ireland.

If you’re usually working and get benefits

If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, you can apply for the payment if you’ll lose income because you cannot work from home.

You can be either employed or self-employed.

You or the partner you live with must get 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

You must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a Test and Trace account ID.

If you’re usually working and do not get benefits

If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, you might be able to get a payment if you’re on a low income and cannot work from home.

You can be either employed or self-employed.

Your council website will tell you what counts as low income, and whether you’re eligible.

You must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a Test and Trace account ID.

If you’re the parent or guardian of a child that needs to self-isolate

You might be able to get the payment if you need to take time off to look after them. They must:

  • be 15 or under, or 25 or under if they have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
  • live with you
  • normally be at school or in childcare
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their school or childcare provider

You’ll need to meet the other eligibility criteria. You’ll need evidence that your child has been told to self-isolate.

  • a payslip if you’re employed, or evidence of your Self Assessment tax returns if you’re self-employed
  • a bank statement
  • your or your child’s Test and Trace account ID, or evidence they’ve been told to self-isolate

Apply and read more about the scheme

You apply for the scheme through your council.

Each council may have different evidence to apply, but you may need:

You can read more about the scheme and apply through your council on the gov.uk website here.

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