Test and Trace Support payment

The Government has announced the new Test and Trace Support payment for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 14 days, and cannot work from home during this period.

Eligibility

From 28 September, if you receive a positive Covid-19 test result, or are told by the NHS to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum from either of the following schemed:

  • Test and Trace
  • Discretionary

To be eligible for the new Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has
  • Be employed or self-employed
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Must 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.

To be eligible for the new Discretionary Scheme, you must:

  • Meet all the other Test and Trace eligibility criteria above, but:
  • Not currently receive 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
  • Be facing financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.

You will not be eligible for either scheme if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ended before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launches on 28 September 2020.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.

Payment

Individuals who qualify and who meet the criteria will be entitled to a £500 lump sum payable into their bank account. These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions. Central Government are to advise local authorities on the process for this. 

Government guidance states the payments will only be eligible for positive diagnosis from 28 September onwards (not before) until the scheme ends on 31 January 2021. Eligible people will be able to claim for each period of self-isolation. 

Applicants who are overdrawn

If your nominated bank account is overdrawn and this payment would be used to cover the overdraft you can write to your bank and request for the first right of appropriation over the payment. This will protect the money from being used to pay back the overdraft and only pay the items you have requested in your letter.

Find out more about first right of appropriation of funds (pdf, 90 KB).

Backdating payment

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace since 28 September you will qualify for a backdated payment if you have been told to self-isolate, and you fit into the above eligibility criteria.

How to apply

To apply, you must provide:

  • A notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number)
  • A bank statement (showing the account details where the payment will be made)   
  • Proof of employment, 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
  • If you are employed - Your contract or confirmation from employer stating reason for reduced or loss of income due to self-isolating and that you are unable to work from home.

Helping someone else make an application

You can help someone else fill out an application or fill out an application on their behalf.

However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else. Payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Apply online

This application is for one person only, and any further applications within the same household must be made by each individual.

Apply now

Apply by telephone

To apply, call us on 020 8871 6555.

You can speak to someone who will be able to assist you with completing the form over the telephone.

Find out more

General information regarding the scheme is available on the GOV.UK website.

Updated: 19 October 2020