Test and Trace Support Payment
The scheme started on 28 September 2020 and will end on 30 September 2021. The scheme is split into a Main Scheme for people getting a benefit and a Discretionary Scheme for people on a low income not getting one of the listed benefits.
From 8 March 2021, the scheme was expanded to include parents and guardians of children (aged 15 or under, or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) who have been told to self-isolate by their childcare setting.
From 16 August 2021, the scheme is being changed to reflect changes to self-isolation rules. Children under the age of 18 will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case and fully vaccinated people identified as a close contact of a positive case will no longer be required to self-isolate either. This means that parents and guardians will only be eligible for a payment if their child tests positive for coronavirus. See the Eligibility drop down below for more information.
How to apply
To apply, please complete the application form at the bottom of this page and we will assess your eligibility. Please do not delay in applying for financial support to self-isolate.
Before completing the form please read the eligibility criteria below. Please also read our information on the First Right of Appropriation.
To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must either:
- have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you've tested positive for coronavirus, or
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you are not fully vaccinated, or
- have a child who has tested positive for Coronavirus and you have to take time off work to care for them.
You must also:
- be employed or self-employed, and
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
- be aged 16 or over, and
- be currently 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, or your normal net weekly earned income is less than £500
This payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if they will lose income as a result of self-isolating. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions. The scheme will last until 30 September 2021.
Parents or Guardians of a young person or child having to self-isolate due to contracting Coronavirus.
From March 8th 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is.
Applicants must meet all the criteria below:
- 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.
- they are employed or self-employed
- they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
- they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
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 because they have tested positive for COVID-19.
If you do not meet the above criteria you may still qualify for a payment under our discretionary scheme. Discretionary scheme applications will be considered from:
- Applicants who have 'no recourse to public funds'
- Applicants who are appealing or waiting a decision on a qualifying benefit
To qualify for the discretionary scheme you must:
- be unable to work from home
- have a loss of income during the isolation period
- will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst self isolating
- earn less than £500 per week after tax and National Insurance contributions
- have less than £16,000 capital
- supply evidence of the requirement to self isolate (8 digit NHS ID)
- claim within 28 days of the start of the self -isolation period
You will not be eligible for the scheme if:
- you are a close contact of a positive case and you have been fully vaccinated
- you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
- you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate (unless it is your child who has been told to self-isolate)
- you can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you are still required to self-isolate after that date
- your child’s period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Scheme expanded on 8 March 2021, even if they are still required to self-isolate after that date
- you will receive full pay from your employer during your self-isolation
- you are on full-time furlough
- you start an additional period of isolation before the previous one ends
Before you start You will need the following information to complete this form:
- your eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID Number - we cannot issue a payment without this
- your bank details and a copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last month)
- proof of your earnings, such as a pay slip (issued within the last month) ;
- proof of self-employment e.g. most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment HMRC returns;
- Your National Insurance Number Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to income tax but exempt from any National Insurance contribution and they do not count as income for benefit purposes.
If you receive a Self-Isolation / Test and Trace Payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.
Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those testing positive.
Please fill in the (green) form below if your isolation period started before the scheme changes on 16th August 2021.
Please fill in the (blue) form below if your isolation period started after the scheme changes on 16th August 2021.