COVID-19 - Test and Trace Support payment schemes

Financial support for people who have to self-isolate

Making sure you self-isolate when you need to is crucial in our fight against coronavirus, helping protect our families, friends and community. However, the requirement to self-isolate places increased financial strain on people who cannot work from home.

We are able to provide financial support to qualifying residents on low incomes who are unable to work because they have either:

  • tested positive for coronavirus, or
  • have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (and have been given your own unique Test and Trace number)

If you have taken a lateral flow test at home and this has proved positive, you must undertake a confirmatory ‘PCR’ test in order to obtain the appropriate ‘Test and Trace’ number.

Residents who qualify can claim a one-off, lump sum payment of £500 for each period of self-isolation (subject to any income tax payable).

The Test and Trace Support payment is available until 30 September 2021.

To receive this payment, you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and have a unique Test and Trace number provided by the NHS (given once you, or the person you have been in contact with, have provided your full contact details to Test and Trace)
  • be making your application during your period of self-isolation, or no more than 42 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation
  • be employed or self-employed on the day you have to start your isolation
  • have lost, or will lose, income by being unable to work from home while self-isolating, because your employer will pay you less or not pay you during this time
  • meet the low income threshold outlined below

You should also be receiving at least one of the benefits listed below. However, if you do not receive any of the specific benefits but meet the above criteria and will face financial hardship during your period of self-isolation, we will consider your application on a discretionary basis. 

Discretionary fund is limited and there is no appeals process if we are unable to make a payment to you.

Applicants are not eligible to receive the Test and Trace Support Payment if they are self-isolating as a result of returning from abroad.

Qualifying benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-based Employment Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit 

Low income threshold

Families, single-parent households and couples paying a mortgage or rent and utility bills, must have an annual household income of less than £25,000 to be considered. Single-person households paying a mortgage or rent and utility bills, must have an annual income of less than £20,000.

How to claim

If you are instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, please make sure you do so. This will help prevent the spread of the virus in our community.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support payment

Other financial support

For more information about financial help, including information on Statutory Sick Pay, see also: Financial help if your income has been affected by coronavirus

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