Test and trace support payments

Apply for the test and trace self-isolation payment

Receiving benefits and working? You can apply for the test and trace self-isolation £500 support payment.

UK residents who test positive for COVID-19 or are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, have a legal duty to self-isolate. As this new legal duty may impact your ability to work and earn a living, the government introduced a scheme for those who are having to self-isolate.

If you receive a notification from NHS Test and Trace to stay at home and self-isolate because you have tested positive for coronavirus, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will receive a £500 payment if you are eligible under the scheme criteria (see below). You will need the NHS Test and Trace unique 8 digit identifier number when you apply.

Effective from 16 August 2021

Parents/guardians of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a 'main' payment if they meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • living in the same household as a young person who is self-isolating and
  • you need to take time off work to care for them and cannot work from home and
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting and
  • the young person has
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan; or
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, NHS COVID-19 app or their education or care setting), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan and
  • the parent/guardian meets all the other criteria for a 'main' payment.

Effective up until 16 August 2021

Parents/guardians can apply for a test and trace payment for a child (backdated to 8 March self-isolation period) if you are

  • living in the same household as the child who is self-isolating
  • you need to take time off work to care for them and cannot work from home.

Please upload a letter from the school confirming your child is self-isolating through contact us.

Who can get a test and trace support payment?

Effective from Monday 16 August 2021

To get the test and trace support payment, you must meet the following criteria:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and are not fully vaccinated; and
  • have responded to message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts; and
  • be employed or self-employed; and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be currently receiving (or partner receives) 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 or pension credit, and
  • your claim is within 42 days of the last day of your self-isolation     

Effective up until Monday 16 August 2021

To get the test and trace support payment, you must meet the following criteria:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by the NHS COVID-19 app, either because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
  • you have signed up and completed the test and trace journey. Receiving the initial notification to isolate will not qualify for the grant, and  
  • be employed or self-employed, and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • be currently 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 or pension credit, and
  • your claim is within 28 days of the last day of your self-isolation           

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

If you are not receiving benefits but face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work due to self-isolating, you may still be entitled under a discretionary scheme

Before making an application

Before you make an application, make sure you have the following information:

  • your unique ID number as provided by NHS Test and Trace. If you have been told to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, follow the steps to get your unique ID number.
  • national insurance number
  • bank account and sort code 
  • details of your employment
  • photos or scanned image of your bank statement covering the last month, must show your name and account number
  • if employed: photos or scanned image of your most recent wage slip
  • if you are self-employed: photos or scanned image of self-assessment returns, trading income.

You will receive this payment via BACS transfer. The payment will be for £500 and is subject to tax. However, you will not be taxed at the point of payment, we will inform Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) of the payment. 

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