Are you eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment?

From 28 September 2020, you are entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you:

  • Have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call) in which you've provided your contact details and where you have tested positive, the details of your contacts
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • Are currently receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit
  • Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or via the NHS COVID-19 App (from 10 December 2020), either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

Discretionary payments

You will be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other eligibility criteria above, but:

  • you do not currently receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and
  • you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.
  • you are not a student

The Discretionary scheme is cash limited so the qualifying criteria is subject to review. The policy can be found here (pdf).

The Test and Trace Payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer but it is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

The scheme will be available until 31 March 2021.