© Crown copyright 2021
This publication is licensed under the terms of the Open Government Licence v3.0 except where otherwise stated. To view this licence, visit nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence/version/3 or write to the Information Policy Team, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.
This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme-claiming-financial-support/claiming-financial-support-under-the-test-and-trace-support-payment-scheme
Applies to England only.
The £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is for people on low incomes who have to self-isolate due to coronavirus (COVID-19). You may be eligible if you are employed or self-employed, cannot work from home, and will lose income as a result. You can only apply if you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, or you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate.
If you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, you’re legally required to do so. If you’ve been notified by the NHS COVID-19 app to self-isolate and you apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you will be legally required to self-isolate.
Who can apply
You might be able to get a payment of £500 to support you during self-isolation if you live in England and meet all the following criteria:
- you’ve been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- you’ve responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close recent contacts
- you’re employed or self-employed
- you’re unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
- you’re currently receiving or are the partner of someone in the same household who is 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
- Pension Credit
If you’re not on one of these benefits, you might still be able to apply for a £500 discretionary payment if all the following apply:
- you meet all the other criteria listed above
- you’re on a low income
- you will face financial hardship as a result of self-isolating
Your council will tell you what counts as low income and financial hardship, and whether you’re eligible.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who’s been told to self-isolate
If you’re not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if all the following apply:
- you’re the parent or guardian of a child in your household who is self-isolating, and you need to take time off work to care for them
- your child is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, normally attends an education or childcare setting, and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting
- you’re unable to work from home and will lose income because you have to care for your child while they are self-isolating
- you meet all the other eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment
Find out more about:
If you’re eligible for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment, you’ll receive the £500 payment in addition to any benefits and Statutory Sick Pay that you receive currently.
How to apply
In England, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme is run by local councils.
If you think you meet the eligibility criteria for either the Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment, you can apply through your local council. You can claim up to 42 days after the first day of your self-isolation period.
For the application, you will need to provide the following:
an NHS Test and Trace Account ID, sometimes referred to as a CTAS number. If you test positive for COVID-19, or are told to self-isolate by contact tracers, you will be provided with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID
a bank statement
proof of employment or, if you’re self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services that cannot be undertaken without social contact
If you’re applying because you’re a parent or guardian who needs to care for a child who is self-isolating, you will also need to provide your child’s NHS Test and Trace Account ID or a communication from their education or childcare setting telling them to self-isolate.
If the NHS COVID-19 app has told you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to follow some additional steps to request your NHS Test and Trace Account ID.
Tax and the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
Test and Trace Support Payments are taxable. If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you’re self-employed you must report the payment on your Self Assessment tax return.