Test and trace support payment

You may be entitled to a £500 payment if you:

  • Have tested positive for Covid-19 (coronavirus) or
  • Have had close contact with someone who has tested positive and are not exempt from self-isolation

From 8 March 2021, you may be entitled to a £500 payment if you:

From 16 August 2021, fully vaccinated adults and children under 18 years and 6 months will no longer be required to isolate if they are identified as a contact of a positive case, and therefore will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for Covid-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus. They are also designed to encourage people who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of Covid-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

Who can apply for the standard scheme

To apply for the standard Test and Trace support payment, all of the following must be true.

  • Your self-isolation period must have started no longer than 42 days ago and you:
  • Must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • Must be employed or self-employed
  • Must be unable to work from home and will lose income
  • Must be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income Based Employment Support Allowance, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit

You will need to provide the following information with your application:

  • NHS Test and Trace notification - you will need to provide your 8 digit unique reference number
  • Bank statements showing the last two months transactions
  • Proof of employment - you will need to provide wage slips and your employer's contact details
  • Proof of self-employment - this can be evidence of self-assessment, trading income, current accounts

Apply for the Test and Trace support payment

If you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit

If you meet all the criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work due to requiring to self-isolate but you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, then you may be eligible for a discretionary payment if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed and earn up to £400 a week
  • You must be losing at least 50% of your earnings while self-isolating
  • You must have less than £3,000 in savings

Apply for the discretionary Test and Trace support payment

If you are a parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate

If you are on a low income and you need to take time off work to care for your child or young person while they are self-isolating, you may be eligible for financial support through the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you meet the following criteria (even if you are exempt from self-isolation):

  • You are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person's self-isolation period
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • You are 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
  • Your child or young person:
    • Aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or
    • Aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or
    • Aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been notified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19 (by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app) or
    • Self-isolating because there was an outbreak at their education or childcare setting, and they have been sent home by their local public health team
  • The young person normally attends an education or care setting and
  • The parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a 'main' or 'discretionary' payment

Apply for the parent test and trace support payment

If you meet all the criteria, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work due to caring for a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate but you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, then you may be eligible for a discretionary payment if you meet the following criteria:

  • You must be employed and earn up to £400 a week
  • You must be losing at least 50% of your earnings while caring for your child/young person who has to self-isolate
  • You must have less than £3,000 in savings

Apply for the discretionary parent test and trace support payment

If you have any questions please check our parent or guardian FAQs.

If you have any questions about the standard test and trace support payments, please check our FAQs about the payments.

There may be other help available to you if you have been affected financially by Covid-19, see the benefits and personal financial support page.

If you need other help during lockdown our Talk Community service may be able to help

Fraudulent applications and repeated non-compliant claims will be taken very seriously by the council. If you are found to have committed fraud (or to have attempted to do so) you will be prosecuted. We also have the right to recoup money, while taking any necessary recovery action.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

If you are not eligible for the Test and Trace support payment you may be able to apply for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you've been self isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

You can apply for 'new style' ESA if you're unable to claim Statutory Sick Pay and one of the following applies:

  • You or your child might have coronavirus or you're recovering from it
  • You or your child are self-isolating because you came into contact with someone who might have coronavirus
  • You've been advised by your doctor or healthcare professional to self-isolate before going into hospital for surgery
  • You've been advised to 'shield' (take extra precautions to reduce contact with others) because you're at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus

You can check your eligibility for ESA and the documentation you need to provide on the GOV.UK website.

You can also apply online for ESA on the GOV.UK website.

Test and Trace payment policies