NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme
How to get a payment of £500 if you’re on a low income and lose income due to self-isolating or looking after a child or young person who has to
Due to large numbers of applications, decisions are taking longer than normal. We aim to get back to you within 10 to 15 working days.
To help decisions, see the evidence requirements under ‘How to apply’ and provide wherever possible.
You do not need to self-isolate and are not eligible for this scheme if you’ve had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and are:
- under 18
- fully vaccinated in the UK with an approved vaccine, and 14 days or more have passed since your second dose
You must self-isolate if you:
- test positive for COVID-19
- are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace (GOV.UK)
You could be fined up to £10,000 if you don’t.
What the scheme is
The government set up a NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme to support low income workers whose earnings are affected by having to self-isolate or look after a child or young person who has to self-isolate with a £500 grant.
Who can apply
To be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment you must either:
- have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 App and followed the 'financial support' process on the App
- be looking after a child under 16 years of age who is usually attending an educational or childcare setting but is self-isolating
- be looking after someone under 26 years of age with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) (‘qualifying young person’) who is usually attending an educational setting but is self-isolating
You must also be:
- in low paid employment or self-employment
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
And you must be receiving at least one of the following:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income Related Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
People who live with you and have been told to self-isolate can apply too, but they’ll need to fill in their own application. Only one person in the household can make an application if they are looking after a child or qualifying young person.
If you’re not eligible but would like to know more about other support available, you can:
- see our Get help page
- call 0800 694 0184, 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday
You may still be able to receive a payment of £500 under the scheme if you lose income because you're self-isolating or looking after a child or qualifying young person who is, but do not receive one of the qualifying benefits or tax credits. This would be paid at our discretion.
Who cannot get a Test and Trace Support Payment
You will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you:
- are under 18 years old and had close contact with someone who has COVID-19
- have been fully vaccinated in the UK, 14 days or more has passed since the date of your second dose, and you’ve had close contact with someone with COVID-19
- have not been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and received an 8-digit identifier or are not looking after a child or qualifying young person who are self-isolating
- do not lose income as a result of self-isolating or looking after a child or qualifying young person who are self-isolating
- can work from home
- are quarantining because you have returned from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and have been asked to self-isolate
- don't have a low income or get any of the qualifying benefits or tax credits as you're unlikely to get a payment if your usual monthly working income is more than £1,300
- were not working immediately before being asked to self-isolate or needing to stop work to look after a child or qualifying young person as you must currently be employed or self-employed and only unable to work as a result of self-isolating or looking after a child or qualifying young person who is
- do not provide supporting evidence as described below
How to apply
You can apply if you’ve been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. From 8 March 2021, you can also apply if you must look after a child or qualifying young person who are self-isolating.
- proof of your employment or self-employment, such as your most recent payslip or tax returns
- proof of loss of income due to self-isolation or taking time off to look after a child or qualifying young person, such as a letter or e-mail from your employer or a payslip showing reduction in income or trading accounts for the period of self-isolation
- if applicable, your unique eight digit reference number from the NHS Test and Trace notification asking you to self-isolate, you must follow the steps on the NHS Test and Trace app to get your 8-digit number or we can't make a payment
- if applicable, the child’s or qualifying young person’s unique eight digit reference number from the NHS Test and Trace notification asking them to self-isolate
- if applicable, a letter or e-mail from the child’s or qualifying young person’s educational or childcare setting asking them to self-isolate
- your bank account details, which must be in your name
If you don’t have proof of loss of income, complete your application and then email email@example.com when you have the required evidence.
You can only apply for up to 42 days after the first day of self-isolation.
To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This is to make sure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to prevent fraud. This is not a credit check and it won't impact your credit rating. Visit www.transunion.co.uk to see how they may use your data.
There's no formal appeal process for unsuccessful applications and our decision will be final. No separate dispute resolution is in place with this scheme.
You can apply more than once if you’re asked to self-isolate or have to look after a child or qualifying young person again but will need to:
- fill in another application
- provide evidence for each application made
Call 0800 694 0184 if you need help with the application process.
We’ll email you the result of your application as soon as possible.
If you’re eligible for a payment, we should make the payment within five working days of receiving your application and supporting evidence.
We can decide on your application and make a payment once all information has been provided.
The payment will be made to your bank account.
Test and Trace payment policy
For more information see our Test and Trace Support payment scheme (pdf, 194KB) (opens new window) .