Since 28 September 2020, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme has supported people on low incomes who are unable to work from home and will lose income if they are required to self-isolate because of Covid-19. The scheme is set to run until 31 March 2022.
From 16 August 2021 anyone who is fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 will not be required to self-isolate if they have not tested positive for Covid-19.
To be eligible for the payment you must meet the following criteria.
More information on the scheme can be found in the frequently asked questions.
Do I qualify?
The support will take the form of a single payment of £500 for people aged 16 or over who:
- Have been told to isolate by NHS Test & Trace and
- Are employed or self-employed and
- Are unable to work from home and
- Will lose income as a result of being instructed to isolate and
- Are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credits
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income based Jobseekers Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
If you work in the care sector you will not normally be entitled to a test and trace payment if you are self-isolating and instead should make an application to the Adult Social Care Infection Control Fund (ICF) through your employer.
You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test & Trace and fully engage in the Test and Trace process.
You must still take a confirmatory PCR or assisted LFD test if you wish to claim a test and trace payment. An assisted LFD test is taken under the supervision of a trained operator who processes, reads and reports the results.
If you are not in receipt of one of the above benefits, are on a low income and will be affected financially from having been told to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace, you may be eligible for a payment under the Test and Trace discretionary scheme.
Discretionary payments may be considered if you:
- Normally work or carry out self-employed work for at least 16 hours each week and
- Normally earn less than £380 per week before deductions or normal average weekly income from self-employment is less than £380 after expenses and
- Are not in full time education and
- Do not have access to £6,000 or more capital or savings
- If you do not meet the above criteria you may still be entitled to a discretionary payment if you have exceptional circumstances that mean you will face financial hardship as a result of having to self-isolate.
How do I claim?
To receive the support you will need to make a claim within 42 days of your isolation period starting and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. Claims will not be accepted without a valid Test & Trace reference number.
- Before you start, you will need the following documents:
- Your eight digit Contact Tracing and Advice Service (CTAS) reference number provided by NHS Test and Trace.
- Latest bank statement (this will need to be for the same bank account where you will want us to make any payment)
- Latest payslip (if employed)
- Latest self employed accounts/self assessment form (if self employed)
- Evidence of your child or young person’s requirement to self-isolate e.g. NHS test and trace notification or letter from education/child care setting
These will need to be uploaded as images or PDFs.
I have an overdraft, how can I make sure the bank doesn’t use this money to pay it off?
If you are overdrawn, you can apply for protection through your bank.
If you meet the conditions above, apply for the payment by clicking the start button below.
To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your Test and Trace Support Payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating.
For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, please visit https://www.transunion.co.uk/legal/privacy-centre.
If you are suffering financial hardship there is other help and support available. Please see further information.