People under 18 who are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate. Therefore, most parents and guardians will be ineligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

If you care for a child or young person who has tested positive for COVID-19, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. 

The child or young person must normally live with you and only one person from the household can apply. You may be able to make more than one application if you have more than one child isolating as long as the periods of isolation do not overlap. You will need to provide proof of the requirement to isolate from NHS Track and Trace.

This scheme runs until 31 March 2022.

Check if you're eligible

You must meet the following criteria to be considered for a support payment:

  • live in the Dorset Council area
  • be caring for a child or young person who has been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating, for example, you will not be paid or you will only receive Statutory Sick Pay
  • be receiving Universal Credit payments, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit. If you are not receiving any of these benefits, see the Discretionary Scheme details.
If you meet all of the criteria but do not receive one of the benefits listed, you may still be eligible under the Discretionary Scheme.

Discretionary Scheme

You must meet additional criteria to be eligible under the Discretionary Scheme:

  • permanently live at an address within the Dorset Council area
  • your average gross weekly earnings must have been between £80 and £290 per week in the 4 weeks before your isolation period. We will look at earned income received in the 4 weeks before your isolation which includes overtime and holiday pay
  • capital that you hold must be less than £16,000. For example, the combined total of money held in any form of bank account, savings account, shares, premium bonds, or as cash is counted (this list is not exhaustive).

Before you apply

You will need to provide the following information:

  • your child’s NHS Test and Trace ID number - this will be verified against Test and Trace records to make sure that you have engaged with them. Follow instructions from NHS Test and Trace before submitting your application.
  • a bank statement showing your name and address for the account where the payment will be made

To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to make sure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of support payments. This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating. Read more information on how TransUnion may use your data.

If you are employed

You will also need to provide:

  • your pay slips covering the 4 weeks before isolation
  • an email from your employer to confirm that you cannot work from home and that your income will be reduced while you isolate

If you are self-employed

You will also need to provide:

  • proof that you are registered as self-employed with HMRC
  • details of your gross income (minus business expenses) from self-employment for the 4 weeks before isolation
  • the nature of your business and whether you can work from home

Have these details ready before your start. You can upload documents in the application form.

Apply for a support payment

You must submit an application within 42 days of the start of your isolation period to be eligible. If you do not have all of the details we need, you can still apply and we will contact you to request any further information but this will delay the decision on your application.

If your application is successful, payment will be made to your bank account. Payment is subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace for your child with instructions to isolate
  • have not engaged with NHS Test and Trace after receiving a notification
  • continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • average GROSS earnings for the 4 weeks preceding isolation do not meet the criteria for the discretionary scheme
  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14 day quarantine period
  • are a full-time student

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