Applications invited for Test & Trace Support Payments

Published Tuesday, 13th October 2020

Hartlepool residents on low incomes and unable to work whilst self-isolating can now apply for help from the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme.

Those meeting the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will receive a £500 lump sum. (Payments are subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions, and they will not be taken into account for benefit purposes.)

The scheme which is being administered locally by Hartlepool Borough Council, runs until January 31st 2021 and follows a Government announcement last month that anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or who is identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of someone who has tested positive has a legal duty to self-isolate.

Hartlepool residents can apply for support at

Anyone not able to access digital services or who is having problems completing the online application form can call (01429) 284188.

To be eligible for support, a person must:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they've tested positive or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • Be employed or self-employed.
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolation.
  • Be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

A person is not eligible if they:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless they test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages whilst self-isolating.
  • Can work from home while self-isolating.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.

Appropriate information will be required to support a claim. Further information can be found at

Initially, applications can be back-dated to the scheme launch date of Monday September 28th. Going forward, claims made more than 14 days after the last day of an isolation period, as shown by the NHS Test and Trace communication, will not be accepted.

Verified applications will be paid within three working days of receipt of a complete application.

University students and those in higher education are excluded from the scheme.

Discretionary support payments may also be available to individuals in need of financial support to self-isolate who do not meet all of the criteria for the main Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme. Applicants who do not receive any of the qualifying benefits but who do meet all of the other criteria may be considered if they can show they will suffer hardship and meet additional criteria requirements.

Eligibility for discretionary payments will be assessed from a person’s application to the main Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme and a separate application is not required – although additional information will need to be provided to prove financial hardship as a result of being told to self-isolate.

For further information about the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme email or call (01429) 284188.