Find out about the support payment if you're required to self-isolate due to Covid-19 (coronavirus)
About the support payment
The government has announced a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment for certain people claiming qualifying benefits who are required by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate to avoid coronavirus transmission.
The payment will be available to people who are instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because they have either tested positive, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, who also meet the qualifying criteria. These changes came into effect from 28 September 2020, alongside the legal requirement to self-isolate. You can find more information on self-isolation on the GOV.UK (Stay at home guidance) website.
The Test and Trace Support payment will close on 31 January 2021.
Who can claim
If you're working, are on a low-income, are required to self-isolate, and claiming certain benefits, you could be eligible for a £500 payment.
If you've received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate (because you have tested positive, or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive), you'll be entitled to a self-isolation payment if you meet all four requirements below:
- comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate
- be employed or self-employed
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- be in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits listed below, or have applied for one of the benefits and be waiting to hear about your claim
The qualifying benefits are:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Income based Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Pension Credit
Who can't claim
You won't be eligible for the scheme if you:
- have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
- 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 (for example, if your period of self-isolation ended before the scheme launched on the 28 September)
- are not claiming one of the qualifying benefits
Apply for the support payment
You can apply for the support payment by completing our online application.
We'll be able to back-date applications from the launch date on Monday 28 September (if applicable).
Please do not apply if you don't meet the criteria. Your application will automatically be rejected.
To apply you'll need:
- your ID number provided by NHS Test and Trace
- your National Insurance number
- a copy of your latest bank statement, issued within the last two months and clearly showing your proof of earnings
- proof of self-employment, for example, a recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
Fraud and penalties
If you falsify any information to obtain the payment, you may face prosecution. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as well as any grants paid in error.
As well as new support measures, from 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following:
- a positive test result for COVID-19
- contact from NHS Test and Trace instructing you to self-isolate because you're a contact of someone who has had a positive test result
From this date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.
You can view our Self-Isolation Payment Privacy Notice.