Test and trace support payment

As of 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. 

Test and trace support payment

This scheme has been extended until 31 March 2022. You will need a reference number from NHS test and trace to apply.

If you have been contacted by NHS test and trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to a payment of £500.

Depending on your personal circumstances, there are two types of payment:

  • a test and trace support payment
  • discretionary payment if you are facing financial hardship because you can't work while you are self-isolating

You need to claim within 42 days of you or the child’s first day of self-isolation.

Payments will be subject to income tax, but not national insurance contributions.

The scheme will be available until 31 March 2022.

Test and trace support payment

Who can get the test and trace support payment?

To be eligible for a test and trace support payment, you must meet the following criteria and supply evidence to support that you:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19;

or

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated;

and

  • have responded to message from NHS test and trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone 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 and pension credit.

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a ‘main’ payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person has:
  • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan;

or

  • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS test and trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a ‘main’ payment.

Evidence that you must provide with your application:

  • a copy of the notification received from NHS test and trace asking you to self-isolate this must include your unique ID reference number and your name
  • proof of receipt of one of the qualifying benefits
  • a current months bank statement showing your name and account details for payment purposes
  • proof of employment such as your last month/two weeks wage slips or, if you are self-employed, evidence of your self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • proof that your earned income/self-employed income has reduced as a result of having to self-isolate.

Discretionary test and trace support payment

Eligibility for a £500 Discretionary test and trace support payment is restricted to people who:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19;

or

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated;

and

  • have responded to a message from NHS test and trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating;
  • are not currently receiving, and are not the partner in the same household as someone 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 and pension credit.

and

are on a low income, for the purposes of the discretionary scheme a low income is defined as less than:

  • £384.62 per week (20,000 a year) (joint income) if the applicant is one of a couple
  • £384.62 per week (£20,000 a year) if the applicant is a single parent and child(ren) live with them; and
  • £257.69 per week (£13,400 a year) if the applicant is a single adult
  • Applicant or their partner holds capital/savings of less than £6,000

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person has:
  • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an EHC Plan;

or

  • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS test and trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan;
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a discretionary payment.

Evidence that you must provide with your application:

  • a copy of the notification received from NHS test and trace asking you to self-isolate this must include your unique ID reference number and your name
  • a current months bank statement showing your name and account details for payment purposes
  • proof of employment such as your last month/two weeks wage slips or, if you are self-employed, evidence of your self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • proof that your earned income/self-employed income has reduced as a result of having to self-isolate
  • proof that your joint income and capital/savings meet the qualifying criteria detailed above such as bank statements/building society statements

How to apply

You can apply online through our website.

Privacy statement

With your consent, the personal data you provide enables us to process your application for the track and trace support payment scheme. 

If you do not give us your consent we will be unable to process your application. You have the right to withdraw your consent, if you do we will not be able to continue your application.

You have a number of rights on how your data is used, including the right to object. For more information, please see our privacy policy.