Test and trace support payments

The test and trace support payment has been announced in response to feedback that some residents were struggling to self-isolate due to financial constraints. It ensures that people on low incomes self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact, and to encourage more people to get tested. This will help reduce the transmission of Coronavirus and avoid further societal and economic restrictions, including local lockdowns.

Exemptions from the scheme which take effect from 16 August 2021

  • Individuals who have been double vaccinated who are identified as a close contact, will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means that fully vaccinated contacts are not eligible for a Test and Trace Payment from the 16 August 2021, unless they are tested Positive themselves and meet the eligibility criteria below and of course would need to self-isolate.
  • Anyone under 18 who is identified as a close contact will also now be exempt from self-isolation. Therefore there parent/guardian will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Payment as there no need for the child to self-isolate.
  • Children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate and their parent or guardians will still be eligible to claim the Test and Trace Payment, regardless of their vaccination status as they would need to provide childcare, but again they are subject to the below criteria.

Who will be eligible for the test and trace support payment?

To be eligible for the test and trace support payment by automatic criteria, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and been provided with a unique 8 digit ID number (on or after 28 September 2020; if you were told to self-isolate prior to this date, you are not eligible) either because they’ve tested positive for Coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
  • be employed or self-employed, and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as result (if you are receiving furlough payments, this does not count as lost income), and
  • be currently receiving:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • and/or Pension Credit.

To be eligible for the test and trace support payment by discretionary criteria, an individual must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and been provided with a unique 8 digit ID number (on or after 28 September 2020; if you were told to self-isolate prior to this date, you are not eligible) either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
  • be employed or self-employed, and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and
  • be:
    • a single person earning below £20,000 or
    • a family, a couple or a single person with children earning below £26,000 and
    • have below £6,000 in savings.

For parents and guardians to be eligible for the test and trace support payment when their child or young person have been notified to self-isolate. They must meet all of the criteria below:

  • the child or young person have been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace following a positive test and have their unique 8 digit number or they have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and
  • the child or young person is under the aged of 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care plan and normally attends an education or childcare setting and
  • they are the parent or guardian of the child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period and
  • they are employed or self-employed and
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result and
  • they meet either the automatic criteria for receiving a qualifying income or the discretionary criteria income and capital levels as shown above.

How much is the payment?

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum.


Will these payments be taxed?

These payments will be subject to Income Tax. They will not be subject to national insurance contributions.


How do I apply for the test and trace support payment?

Complete our online application form to apply for the test and trace support payment

Alternatively, you can also apply for the test and trace support payment by telephone 01952 380400.

Evidence required

The following supporting evidence will be required for the automatic and discretionary element of the scheme:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a unique ID number)
  • a bank statement
  • proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • confirmation from your employer of reduced income during your period of isolation (an email from your employer or a contract of employment).

The following supporting evidence will be required when your child has been notified to self-isolate:

  • the child 8 digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who received a notification directly from NHS test and Trace or
  • communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive or
  • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16 - 25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • a bank statement and
  • proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • confirmation from your employer of reduced income during your period of isolation (an email from your employer or a contract of employment).

What am I required to do?

If you receive a test and trace support payment, you must self-isolate, as requested by NHS Test and Trace.

Please visit the NHS website for full details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:

  • testing positive and
  • those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Visit the NHS Test and Trace website to check what you need to do if you or someone you have been in contact tests positive for COVID-19

Last updated: 12/08/2021 16:27