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Apply for a test and trace support payment


If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate either because you have tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and you meet the eligibility criteria you may be entitled to a £500 support payment. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

For further information, see Gov.uk: Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

Up to 15 August 2021

If you were told to self-isolate and your first date of self-isolation was before 16 August 2021, providing you meet the qualifying criteria, you will still be able to make an application for a Test and Trace Support Payment, even if you were fully vaccinated, providing the application is made within 42 days of your first date of self-isolation. 

If you are a parent or guardian of a child/young person who has had to self-isolate because they were in contact with someone who had tested positive for Covid-19 (but have not tested positive themselves), you can apply for a test and trace support payment if you need to take time off work to care for them. Your child must have been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their school or other registered childcare provider.

From 16 August 2021

Fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if you have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace and are therefore not eligible for a test and trace support payment.

Most people under 18 years and 6 months who are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace are no longer required to self-isolate. Therefore, in most cases their parents and guardians will not be eligible for a test and trace support payment.

Please note that there are extremely high numbers of test and trace support payment applications which have resulted in longer processing times.

Who can claim

Standard Scheme - Test and Trace Support Payment 

Adults told to self-isolate

Adults who are required to self-isolate may be eligible for a Standard Scheme £500 payment if they meet the following criteria: 

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app because you have tested positive for coronavirus; 

or 

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated; 

and

  • where relevant, you have responded and fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace; and
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
  • are currently receiving or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of these qualifying benefits; Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Parents and guardians of young people told to self-isolate

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a Standard Scheme £500 payment if they meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • you are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • the young person has tested positive for coronavirus and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan;
  • you as the parent or guardian should be added as a close contact of the child by NHS Test and Trace and will therefore be given your own account reference number. This account reference number should be used to claim under our adult scheme by selecting 'I am isolating' on the application form.

or 

  • has been identified as a close contact of someone with coronavirus (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;
  • you as the parent or guardian should apply under our parent and guardian scheme by selecting 'my child is isolating' on the application form.

and

  • where relevant, you have responded and fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace; and
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income; and
  • are currently receiving or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of these qualifying benefits; Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Discretionary Scheme - Test and Trace Support Payment 

People who do not meet the qualifying criteria for the Standard Scheme because they are not in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits, may be eligible for a Discretionary Scheme Test and Trace Support Payment.

Adults told to self-isolate

Adults who are required to self-isolate may be eligible for a Discretionary Scheme £500 payment if you meet the following criteria: 

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app because you have tested positive for coronavirus; 

or 

  • you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and you are not fully vaccinated;

and

  • where relevant, you have responded and fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace; and
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • your normal annual gross earnings (before deductions) are less than £27,971 per year; and
  • you have less than £6000 savings.

Parents and Guardians of Young People told to self-isolate

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a Discretionary Scheme £500 payment if you meet the following criteria (even if you are fully vaccinated):

  • you are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • the young person has tested positive for coronavirus and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan;
  • you as the parent or guardian should be added as a close contact of the child by NHS Test and Trace and will therefore be given your own account reference number. This account reference number should be used to claim under our adult scheme by selecting 'I am isolating' on the application form.

or 

  • has been identified as a close contact of someone with coronavirus (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;
  • you as the parent or guardian should apply under our parent and guardian scheme by selecting 'my child is isolating' on the application form.

and

  • where relevant, you have responded and fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace; and
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income; and
  • your normal annual gross earnings (before deductions) are less than £27,971 per year; and
  • you have less than £6000 savings.

You will need to provide supporting evidence and documents when you apply.

Who is not eligible?


You will not be eligible for either a Standard or Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment if:

  • you have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, which is the date the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme was launched.
  • you continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • you can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the quarantine period).
  • your isolation start date was more than 42 days ago, which is the timescale set by NHS Test and Trace to claim a support payment.
  • If the first date of your self-isolation is 16 August 2021 or after, fully vaccinated adults are no longer required to self-isolate if they have been identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace and are therefore not eligible for a test and trace support payment.
  • If the first date of your self-isolation is 16 August 2021 or after, most people under 18 years and 6 months who are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace are no longer required to self-isolate. Therefore, in most cases their parents and guardians will not be eligible for a test and trace support payment.

How to apply

You will need to provide the following information:

  • your eight character NHS Test and Trace reference
  • your National Insurance number
  • a copy of your latest bank statement for the account you would like the payment to be made into, this must show your name, address, sort-code and account number.
  • your latest payslip if you are employed
  • if you are self-employed, your most recent set of accounts or most recent tax return. If these are not available, and you are not claiming under the discretionary scheme, we will also accept a screenshot of your online HMRC self-assessment account.
  • If you are claiming under our discretionary scheme, you will need to list the following information for all bank and savings accounts that you hold; the bank name, account number and current balance. This includes both accounts held in your own name and any joint accounts.

If you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting because they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, please provide the following:

  • a copy of the letter received from the education or childcare setting confirming that the child or young person has to self-isolate
  • for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs, provide evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan

If you need support to complete your application or need help with other things like getting food, please visit Get help if you're self-isolating or contact us at Customer Services.

How much is the payment

If you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, and meet the criteria listed, you will be entitled to a £500 support payment.

Will payments be taxed

Test and trace support payments will be subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions.
 

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