Test and Trace Support Payment scheme FAQs

If someone is instructed to self-isolate on more than one occasion are they given a different 8-digit ID for each self-isolation period?

Yes, a new ID is issued for each self-isolation period, the unique ID is linked to that isolation period and not the person.

Can an individual claim more than once? If so, is the process the same as for initial claim?

Yes, provided the eligibility criteria are met on each separate occasion and the self-isolation period for which they are claiming doesn't overlap with a previous self-isolation period. The process should be the same as for any other claim.

What about multiple claims from households - will this be allowed?

Yes, provided each applicant meets the relevant criteria.

The guidelines suggest there must be a positive contact from NHS Test and Trace to qualify for payment, what if someone hasn't been contacted, but are self-isolating (correctly)? Who and how do they contact to obtain the relevant registration detail?

The duty to self-isolate - and eligibility for payment - applies only where someone has been formally notified to self-isolate, either because they have received a positive test result or because a person who has tested positive has identified them as a contact.

This does put the onus on people who have tested positive to share accurate information about their recent contacts. It would not be appropriate to pay someone who has simply been told by a friend that they ought to self-isolate, without that friend having formally notified NHS Test and Trace who their contacts are (for which they will be under a legal duty not to knowingly provide false information). The legal duty - and the payments - also do not apply to people isolating because they or another member of their household has symptoms.

What if applicants (who are self-isolating) are seeing a reduction in income as they are still on furlough, so the income reduction isn't because they aren't able to work because of self-isolating?

They will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment. The applicant will need to provide a declaration that they are losing income because they are unable to work because they are self-isolating. There will need to be post-payment verification checks with employers, which could include checking they were not on furlough.

There is currently a demand on testing, it could be that people lose income before any tests and subsequent results are received; how is this being provisioned for?

Both the £500 payment (for eligible individuals) and the legal duty to self-isolate will apply only where someone has tested positive or has been notified that they are the close contact of someone who has tested positive.

Where a symptomatic person orders a test, then - provided the test is taken within given days - the period for which they must self-isolate, if they test positive, will be ten days from the date of their first symptom onset. The length of time (within the five-day period) before taking a test and the length of time to get test results will not affect the period for which they are legally obliged to self-isolate.

Where a symptomatic person tests negative, we appreciate that delays in testing will extend the period for which they have had to self-isolate (by virtue of guidance rather than legal duty), but it would be impracticable to offer financial support to everyone self-isolating because they have symptoms. Testing capacity continues to be expanded, with the aim of having capacity for 500,000 daily tests by the end of October, in order to meet increases in demand.

This scheme will run until 31 January 2021.