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:

  • tested positive for coronavirus, or
  • not been fully vaccinated* and have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (and have been given your own unique Test and Trace number)
  • been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant and have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (and have been given your own unique Test and Trace number)

Please note, those who are fully vaccinated and who are identified as close contacts are no longer required to self-isolate, unless they are a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant. This means that fully vaccinated contacts are ineligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment unless they test positive for coronavirus, or are a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant.

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).

To receive this payment, you must:

  • not be fully vaccinated* or have been identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant, and have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. You must also 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), or
  •  have tested positive for coronavirus and have a valid Test and Trace number

You must also meet all of the following criteria:

  • 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 or your positive test result
  • 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. Please ensure you confirm with your employer that you will not be paid during your isolation period before making an application
  •  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 a holiday in a country where self-isolation is required upon return.

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.

*A person who is fully vaccinated is defined as a person who has received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, with their second dose having been administered 14 days or more ago.

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

Apply for a Test and Trace Support payment

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