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Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payment

The Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payment is a £500 payment for people on low incomes who are unable to work because they must self-isolate, or eligible parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate. The scheme is for individuals who have received a notification to self-isolate from NHS Test, Track and Trace with a unique 8 digit identifier number and are eligible under the scheme criteria.

This scheme is run by Local Authorities on the Government's behalf. The Government are making regular changes to guidance issued to Local Authorities and we will update this page in accordance to changes made.

Eligibility criteria

To get the payment, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • You have been notified to self-isolate by NHS Test, Track and Trace on or after 28 September or you have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020 and
  • have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call) in which you provided your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts and
  • You have a unique 8 Digit number provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • You are employed or self-employed, and
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • are 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, and
  • you have made a claim within 42 days of the first day of your self-isolation

You must meet all of the above criteria to be eligible for a payment.

If you qualify, you will be entitled to £500. This will be paid in a lump sum.

Parent and carer eligibility criteria

Parents and carers of children who have been advised to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021 by their education setting or by NHS Test and Trace are now able to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The extension of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which is administered by district and unitary local authorities in England, ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria that:

  • you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time of 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.
  • You are employed or self-employed
  • You cannot work from home while you undertake caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • You meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a test and trace support payment or discretionary scheme.

The child or young person:

  • Aged 15 or under (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 settings because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID 19)
  • Nurseries, schools, colleges and further education providers are required to provide a letter to all parents or carers of the children advised to self-isolate, to support their application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Apply for a payment

You can apply for a payment online. A telephone application process will also be available.

To make your claim you will need to have the following evidence available

  • your unique ID 8 Digit number as provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • your national insurance number
  • your full name
  • your date or birth
  • your contact telephone number and email address
  • evidence of the benefits you receive and how much you get
  • recent proof of employment (most recent payslip), contract of employment or letter from your employer detailing your loss in earnings, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
  • evidence of your bank statements clearly identifying your account details / name and address this must be less than 3 months old

We will accept scans, photographs, screenshots and downloads of documents. Once you have all your documents, please click the button below to apply.

Apply for a payment

When will I be paid, and will it be taxed?

You will receive the payment via BACS transfer. We will send the payment within 3 days of your verified claim.

The payment will be for £500 and is subject to tax, but you will not be taxed at the point of payment. Instead, you will be contacted by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at a later date. We will send payment within 3 days of your verified claim.

Applicants who are overdrawn

We will support customers in offering advice so this payment is not used by the bank to clear any overdraft due.

Can I make multiple claims if I am asked to isolate multiple times or for different members of my household?

A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.

People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

Government guidance states the payments will only be eligible for positive diagnosis. Eligible people will be able to claim for each separate period of self-isolation.

I do not receive benefits, but I am on low income, self-isolating and struggling financially. What help can I receive?

If you are not receiving one of the qualifying benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you hardship you may still be entitled to a Discretionary Award Payment.

Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Discretionary award:

  • You have been notified to self-isolate by NHS Test, Track and Trace on or after 28 September or you have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020, and
  • have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call) in which you provided your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts and
  • You have a unique 8 Digit number provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • You are employed or self-employed, and
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • Are suffering financial hardship as they are unable to work be because of a limited income or no recourse to public funds. You must be able to evidence you are suffering hardship to be eligible, this must be shown at the time of making the application, and
  • you have made a claim within 42 days of the first day of your self-isolation

To make your claim you will need to have the following evidence available:

  • your unique ID 8 Digit number as provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • your national insurance number
  • your full name
  • your date or birth
  • your contact telephone number and email address
  • Your last two months bank statements clearly identifying your account details / name and address and all transactions for all bank accounts and savings you and your partner hold
  • evidence of your employment including your employer contact details
  • recent proof of employment (most recent payslip), contract of employment or letter from your employer detailing your loss in earnings, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact for both you and your partner.
  • evidence you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of this isolation period

Apply for a payment

Further guidance

For further guidance, including helping others apply, appeal rights and backdating payments, visit the Guidance notes: Test and Trace Self-Isolation Support Payments webpage.

Privacy Notice: COVID-19 Self-Isolation Support Payments

GOV.UK: Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

NHS UK: How can I apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment if the NHS App has told me to self isolate?