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Test and Trace Support Payment

In some circumstances, if you are required by law to self-isolate, you may be supported by a payment of £500.

Government have announced a financial package to support and enforce self-isolation.

New financial package to support and enforce self-isolation

Who can get the Test and Trace Support Payment?

To get the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must be:

  • told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you've tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you've been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you're not fully vaccinated; and
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts;
  • employed or self-employed
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and
  • 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

If you are a parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate, you may be eligible if:

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

You don't need to have your own Test and Trace account ID, but you will need to tell us:

  • The name and age of the child who is self-isolating
  • That child’s education or care setting and year group including an email or phone number for the setting
  • And either:
    • the child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate, or
    • a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, or
    • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App

When can people apply?

The scheme opened on the 12 October 2020 and closes on 31 March 2022. 

You must apply within 42 days of the start of your self-isolation period. We will not accept any backdated claims.

Changes to self-isolation requirements

From 16 August 2021, people who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as contacts will no longer be required to self-isolate. This will mean that fully vaccinated contacts can't get a Test and Trace Support Payment (unless they test positive, at which point they would become eligible).

From this date, anyone under 18 who is a contact is also be exempt from self-isolation. This means most parents and guardians will be ineligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still need to self-isolate, their parents and guardians can still apply, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child).

Discretionary payments

If you meet all of the qualifying rules above, except you don’t get a qualifying benefit you may still qualify for a discretionary payment of £500 if you're going to suffer hardship by self-isolating.  To qualify for a discretionary payment, you must:

  • lose more than £100 a week in gross earnings
  • normally be employed for more than 16 hours a week
  • have less than £1,000 in capital or savings
  • pay rent to a landlord who is not a close relative, or pay a mortgage (and not be on a ‘mortgage holiday’)
  • provide any evidence or information we need within 14 days

You may be eligible for a discretionary payment if you meet all of the above rules and:

  • you have applied for a qualifying benefit but are waiting for a decision or you are appealing against a decision not to award a qualifying benefit, or
  • you cannot claim a qualifying benefit because you are a person from abroad
Funding for discretionary payments comes from central Government and is limited. 

Can I claim if I'm self-isolating after returning to the UK?

The scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Can I claim more than once?

You can claim more than once, if you are told to self-isolate multiple times. 

Can I apply on behalf of someone else?

Applicants can claim on behalf of someone else (eg a son on behalf of a parent) but the payment will only be made into the bank account in the name of the person the application is made (eg in the parent's name).