Martin Lewis reminds millions of UK parents with kids in school how they could be eligible for £500 payments

By Claire Schofield
Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 9:46 am
Parents on low incomes could claim financial support if their child is sent home due to Covid (Photo: Getty Images)
Parents on low incomes could claim financial support if their child is sent home due to Covid (Photo: Getty Images)

Millions of UK parents with children in school could be eligible for £500 payments, Martin Lewis has said.

The Money Saving Expert has issued an important reminder that parents on low incomes could claim financial support in the event their child is sent home from school due to Covid.

£500 payments

Mr Lewis said that in the event children are sent home from school due to a pupil in their class testing positive for Covid-19, parents may be able to claim a £500 payment.

The payment is to help support those on low incomes, or claiming benefits, who are left unable to work due to childcare.

Writing on Twitter, the financial adviser said: “Spread word. Many children are being sent home by school due to someone in class / year group bubble testing +ve for Covid.

"If so, and you then can't work due to needing to be home with them, this (not just NHS test & trace) can trigger the £500 payment for those on low incomes."

The £500 payment is known as the Test and Trace Support Payment, which is available to some on low incomes in the event they have to self-isolate due to Covid-19.

Government guidance states: “You may be eligible if you are employed or self-employed, cannot work from home, and will lose income as a result.

"You can only apply if you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, or you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate."

The payment is only available to people in England and can be claimed via the government website.

Parents must submit the claim within 42 days of their child’s first day of self-isolation.

Those who do not live in England may be eligible to claim for the self-isolation support scheme in Wales, the self-isolation support grant in Scotland or support in Northern Ireland.

Who is eligible for the payment?

Parents or guardians of children who have been told to self-isolate may be able to claim the payment if they are forced to take time off work to look after them.

To be eligible, the children must:

  • be aged 15 or under, or 25 or under if they have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
  • live with you
  • normally be at school or in childcare
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their school or childcare provider

You will need to meet the other eligibility criteria and must provide evidence that your child has been told to self-isolate.

Self isolation rules could be scrapped

Mr Lewis’ reminder comes as school isolation rules in England are considering being scrapped this autumn, following concerns about the rising number of pupils who have been forced to quarantine because they are the contacts of confirmed cases.

The Department for Education said ministers have written to secondary schools asking them to prepare to potentially replace isolation rules with testing.

A spokesman said: “We are provisionally asking secondary schools and colleges to prepare to offer on-site testing when students return for the new academic year, so that schools are ready in case it is needed to keep as many children as possible in face-to-face education.

“We will provide further details about the approach to protective measures and test and trace in education from September in due course.”