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

The guidance for Test and Trace Support Payments is changing from 8 March 2020. We' re in the process of updating the application process to reflect these changes.

Apply after 15 March 2020 if you're unable to work because you're caring for a child who is self-isolating.

Applications will be backdated up to the 8 March as long as received within 28 days.

You must self-isolate if you:

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 with a £500 grant.

Who can apply

To be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment you must have been asked to self-isolate by either:

  • NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • the NHS COVID 19 App on or after 10 December 2020 and followed the ‘financial support’ process on the App

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 need to self-isolate can apply too but they’ll need to fill in their own application. 

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

Discretionary payment

You may still be able to receive a payment of £500 under the scheme if you lose income because of self-isolation 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 cannot apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you:

  • have not been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or received an 8-digit identifier
  • do not lose income as a result of 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 you're getting 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, you must currently be employed or self-employed and only unable to work as a result of self-isolating
  • do not provide supporting evidence as described below

How to apply

You can apply if you’ve been asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020. 
We’ll need:

  • 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, 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
  • 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 pay your claim
  • your bank account details, which must be in your name

If you don’t have proof of loss of income due to self-isolation, complete your application and then email testandtracepayment@bristol.gov.uk when you have the required evidence. 

You can only make a claim up to 28 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.

If your application is unsuccessful, please note there is no formal appeal process and our decision will be final. No separate dispute resolution is in place with this scheme.

Apply for Test and Trace Support Payment

You must apply to the scheme within 28 days of self-isolation starting. 

You can apply more than once if you’re asked to self-isolate again but will need to:

  • fill in another application
  • show you qualify for each claim
  • make sure your periods of self-isolation do not overlap

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 support, we should make the payment within five working days of receiving your application and supporting evidence.

We can only finalise your claim and make a payment once all information have been provided. 

The payment will be made to your bank account.

Payment policy

For more information see our Test and Trace Support payment scheme (pdf, 268KB) (opens new window) .