NHS Test and Trace Support Payments

The Government has announced a new payment to support people who face financial difficulty if they have been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

If you have been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period. This scheme will run to 30 June 2021.

Please see the GOV.UK website for the full and latest information. 

Who will be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020 or identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-App from 10 December 2020 and have received an 8 digit Account ID from NHS Test and Trace by email or text. Please read the NHS Covid-19 App document below for more information.; and
  • be employed or self-employed; and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be aged 16 or over; and
  • be currently receiving payments of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
  • Your period of self-isolation began within the last 42 days.

If you are not receiving one of these benefits, are on a low income and unable to support yourself financially during your self-isolation period you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.

What if my child is required to self-isolate

Parent/Guardian of child required to self-isolate.

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for payment if you:

  • you have received a notification from the NHS Test and Trace App instructing you to self-isolate but have not registered with NHS Test and Trace during your period of self-isolation and followed the steps to request your 8 digit Account ID. Please read the NHS Covid-19 App document below for more information. Find out more information about what the NHS Covid-19 App does.
  • you can work from home during a period of self-isolation;
  • your period of self-isolation ended more than 42 days ago;
  • you are quarantining after travelling abroad. For information on travel advice and quarantine rules visit the GOV.UK website;
  • you are unable to work due to Government Covid restrictions that restrict your business or workplace from opening for example hairdressers. If you are unsure please check the GOV.UK website for advice about businesses and venues that must close
  • you are currently furloughed in all jobs that you have

  • you have already received a Test and Trace Support Payment and you have additional isolation periods that overlap.

The furlough scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021. Most people who are furloughed will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment as they will not be losing income because they have been asked to self-isolate.

A small number of people may be furloughed from one job but working in another job, which can't be undertaken from home. If these individuals are asked to self-isolate, they may stand to lose income from this second job, and therefore could qualify for a payment, provided they met the other eligibility criteria.

How do I apply?

To apply for a support payment you will need to complete an application form and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. No application can be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number.

Applications will be accepted up to 42 days after the start of the self-isolation period.

Discretionary Scheme

If you are not receiving one of the benefits listed above, are on a low income and unable to support yourself financially during your self-isolation period you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.  Generally, applications will only be considered where the applicant has a rent liability or a mortgage for the property they are living in.  Consideration will be given to other applicants where they can demonstrate that they will otherwise suffer severe financial hardship as a result of being instructed to self-isolate. By severe financial hardship, we mean that you will have insufficient funds available to you during your self-isolation period and will not be able to meet essential bills such as gas, electric, food, and rent or mortgage payments

Before you start your application

You will need the following information to make an application:

  • your eight digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID Number e.g. 'c6bc457f' - This can be found in the text message, email or letter you have been sent by NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate or on the confirmation message you were sent when you completed the NHS Test and Trace questionnaire.  You will not be eligible for a payment without this.
  • a copy or photo of the NHS Test and Trace notification you received. This must clearly show the date you received notification and the Test and Trace ID Number;
  • your National Insurance Number;
  • your bank details;
  • a recent bank statement (within the last 2 months) that shows your name as the account holder, the account number and sort code. If the statement does not show your name please also supply a photo of your bank card (without showing the 16 digit card number). We cannot make a payment without evidence that the bank account is in your name.

  • proof of earnings either a wage slip or bank statement clearly showing proof of your earnings (one issued within the last two months);
  • proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns.
  • discretionary scheme applications should be supported with evidence of rent or mortgage payments made within the last month.

The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

Test and Trace Support Payments do not count as income for benefit purposes.

Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?

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.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your completed application and supporting evidence we will carry out the necessary checks to confirm you are eligible for a payment. If we are able to confirm you are entitled we will contact you to confirm when you will receive your payment.

If you are successful we aim to make payment within three working days of your application being verified.

We may contact your employer to confirm that you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

Payments may be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence as requested when submitting your application.

If I receive a support payment what am I required to do?

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone

Fraud

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud my be subject to recovery action, as may any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Apply

Test and Trace Support Payment application

Data Sharing

Providing evidence

You will be required to provide evidence as part of the application process. If you have been contacted to provide further evidence after applying, please use our upload form to provide the requested evidence.

Evidence upload

General enquiries

If you have any questions or need to contact us about your application please use our general enquiry form

General enquiry