NHS Test and Trace - support payment

If you have not been fully vaccinated, and 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 for COVID-19, or you have tested positive for COVID-19, you may be able to get some financial help while self-isolating if your earnings have reduced because of isolating. 

From 16 August 2021 if you have been fully vaccinated you will only be eligible

  • if you have tested positive for coronavirus or
  • if you are the parent or guardian of a child who is under 18 and has tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • is aged between 16 and 25 and has an Education, Health and Care plan and has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Protect service (TTP) or
  • their school or childcare provider have recently been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Help is available only for those with low earnings and who cannot work from home. To be eligible for a payment, you must also be in receipt of an ‘in work benefit’ such as Working Tax Credit, Universal Credit or Housing Benefit.

If you are not in receipt of one of these benefits, or your gross income from earnings is less than £473 per week, and you work 16 or more hours per week, and have less than £10,000 in capital you will not be eligible for a payment and should not apply. 

More information on who is eligible to apply and how to claim is detailed below.

How much will I get?

If you test positive for Covid-19 or you are not fully vaccinated and have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, or are the parent or guardian of a child who has tested positive, you may be eligible for a test and trace self isolation payment of £500.

When can I apply?

All applications must be made within 42 days of the start of your or your child’s period of self-isolation.

You can apply for two separate periods of isolation but these periods cannot overlap.

This scheme is available until the 31 March 2022

When will I get the money?

We aim to pay you within three working days, once we have received the necessary evidence from you, and checked it. You will need to: 

  • agree to comply with the notification from NHS Test and Trace
  • provide your notification from NHS Test and Trace
  • provide proof of your earnings or self-employed income
  • provide proof of address, and bank statement
  • A communication from the child or young person's place of education or childcare setting confirming that they must isolate.
  • A copy of the young person's Education, Health and Care plan if applicable.

If you are unable to provide this information along with your application form, we will not be able to consider your claim, and we will not be able to pay you.

Discretionary payment

You may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the eligibility above, but:

  • you have applied for but do not currently receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit
  • you are unable to apply for welfare benefits because you have no recourse to public funds, are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.

(Note: low income is defined as income from earnings below £473 per week, working 16 or more hours per week and have less than £10,000 in capital)

Apply for a test and trace support payment

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you are not fully vaccinated and you have been asked to self isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has tested positive for COVID-19, you can apply for both main or discretionary support on this application.

Apply for support payment 

Parent / guardian application

Apply for test and trace support payment if you are the parent or guardian of a child who has tested positive or a young person between 16 and 25 and has an Education, Health and Care plan and has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, Protect service (TTP)

Apply for support payment (parent/guardian) 

If you are unable to complete an application online or you are unable to provide the required evidence alongside your online application, call 0300 303 8670 for additional support.

Your data

As part of the application process you will be asked to give us permission to share your data as we need , check the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you have been asked to self-isolate. We may we may need to check any data you provide us against other information that we hold about you, for example any awards of Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. We may also receive information from other parties or organisations, or share your data with them to check the accuracy of records. This includes NHS Test and Trace (CTAS) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). We will also contact your child or young person's place of education or childcare to validate their details. This will enable us to prevent or detect crime, or to protect public funds in other ways where the law allows.

We will also need to provide information to HMRC about any payments we make, as we understand that, where applicable, the payments are subject to tax and National Insurance Contributions. If you are self-employed, you need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

Read our privacy notice.