Are you eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment?

From 28 September 2020, individuals will be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if they:

  • Have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • 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

If the NHS Test and Trace app has notified you to self-isolate, but you have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace by phone, email, letter or text message, you cannot currently apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

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.

Please note that payments are subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions.

The scheme will be available until 31 January 2021.

  • You are not eligible for this payment if you:
    • Were told to self-isolate before 28 September 2020, even if the period of self-isolation continues after this date
    • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
    • Are quarantining after travelling abroad unless you test positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
    • Have lower income than normal because you have been furloughed
    • Make your claim 14 days or more after your period of self-isolation ends
  • How to apply

    Please click here to apply

  • Overdrawn account

    If you know that your account is overdrawn, and to avoid your Test and Trace Support Payment being taken as soon as it has been deposited into your account, you can exercise your ‘first right of appropriation’.

    You can protect your payment by telling your bank the Test and Trace Support Payment should only be used to pay a specific bill, for example your rent, your mortgage, your gas or electricity.

  • How do I request a first right of appropriation of funds order?

    You need to write to your bank before your Test and Trace Support Payment is due, making it clear which specific bill this should be used for.

    Keep a copy of the letter in case there is any dispute later. You may want to ask your bank/building society for a written acknowledgement of your instructions.

    If your bank or building society has already taken funds, leaving you with not enough to cover your essential bills, you should contact them to discuss your circumstances and to request a full or partial refund to cover your essential living costs.

  • What are the self-isolation rules?

    People across England are now required by law to self-isolate if they are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive or they have been identified as a contact. Failure to comply with these requirements, including employers who do not allow employees to self-isolate, may result in a fine of at least £1,000 and up to £10,000 for repeated or serious offences. These regulations will only apply in England.

    If you or someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and begin to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms start.

    Arrange to have a test for COVID-19 if you have not already had one. The result of the test will determine how long you must stay at home and self-isolate.

    Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test.

    A positive test result means you must complete a 10-day isolation period.

    If your test is negative, you can stop self-isolating as long as you are well.

    If you do not have symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, stay at home and self-isolate for 10 days from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms after your test, restart your 10-day isolation period from the day the symptoms start.

    People identified as having been in close contact with someone who has had a positive test will be contacted and told to stay at home for 14 days from the point of that contact, even if they do not have symptoms. This is to minimise the risk that they unknowingly spread the virus.

    To ensure that people understand why they need to stay at home, NHS Test and Trace will increase contact with individuals who are required to self-isolate and will work with local authorities to check in with them to offer support. The police will also have the power to investigate and fine those who do not follow the rules.

    Anyone can catch coronavirus, and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.