Financial support if you have to take time off work to care for your child while they are self-isolating
If you are on a low income and you need to take time off work to care for your child while they are self-isolating, you may be eligible for financial support from your local authority through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme. The scheme is open to people who live in England and who meet the following criteria:
- They are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate; this is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
- Are employed or self-employed
- Are unable to work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
- They are currently receiving or are the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving at least 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
- Their child or young person:
- is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
- has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
Discretionary payments are also available for people on low incomes who are not on means-tested benefits but who may still face hardship as a result of the requirement to self-isolate. Your local authority may have additional eligibility criteria in place for discretionary payments.
If you are eligible, you will receive a £500 payment from your local authority in addition to any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay you receive currently. If you are unsure which local authority you should claim from, you can check on Find your Local Council on GOV.UK: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council
Your local authority will contact the school to verify the information you provide about your child as part of the process of confirming whether you are eligible for a payment.
You can see the full eligibility criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme and find out how to apply at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme.
If you think you meet the eligibility criteria listed above and would like to apply to your local authority for a payment from the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, you should provide the letter from the school informing you about your son/daughter's self-isolation period to your local authority to support your application. You will not be able to make an application for a payment from the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme without this letter.
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/