If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result and must isolate you may be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment. You may also be eligible if you have not been double vaccinated and have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.

This scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

Who is eligible?

To be considered for a support payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • live in the Dorset Council area
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and have fully engaged with them
  • 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
  • currently be receiving Universal Credit (you must be actually receiving 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 these criteria you may be entitled to a £500 payment into your bank account. Payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

Discretionary Scheme

If you meet all of the criteria but you are not currently receiving one of the benefits listed, you may still be eligible under the Discretionary Scheme.

You must meet the following additional criteria to be eligible:​​​​

  • your average gross weekly earnings must have been between £80 and £290 per week in the 4 weeks prior to your isolation period. In establishing the average we will look at all earned income received in the 4 weeks preceding 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 are counted. This list is not exhaustive
  • be resident full time at an address within the Dorset Council area - full time students are not eligible for this scheme

Apply for a support payment

Your NHS Test and Trace id number will be verified against Test and Trace records to ensure you have engaged with them. Please ensure you have followed all instructions from NHS Test and Trace before submitting your application. You will also need to provide the following information:

  • if you are employed - your pay slips covering the 4 weeks preceding isolation and an email from your employer to confirm you cannot work from home and your income will be reduced whilst isolating.
  • if you are self-employed – proof that you are registered as self- employed with HMRC and details of your gross income (less business expenses) from self-employment for the 4 weeks preceding isolation. Confirm the nature of your business and whether you can work from home.
  • 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 ensure 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.

You'll need to have these details ready before your start. You can upload documents in the application form.

Applications must be submitted within 42 days of the start of your isolation period to be eligible.

Start now

If you don't have all of the details we need, you can still apply and we will contact you to request any outstanding information. This will delay the decision on your application.

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-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
  • have been identified as a close contact but you have been double vaccinated
  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14 day quarantine period

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