Test and Trace Support Payment

If you develop coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate to prevent you from passing it on and to keep those around you safe.

From 28 September 2020 – 31 January 2021, if you meet all of the below criteria, you will be eligible for a one-off payment of £500 – called a Test and Trace support payment - to support you to self-isolate and to make up for lost income. The criteria is as follows:

  • You have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; and
  • You are employed or self-employed, are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • You are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

If you are not receiving one of the listed benefits but are on a low income, unable to work from home and self-isolation will cause you hardship, you may still be entitled to a discretionary payment.

If you do not meet any of the criteria but need help to self-isolate please go to our service directory for organisations that may be able to help or call our Covid helpline on 020 7974 4444 (option 9).

How long it takes to receive payment

If your application is successful, you should receive payment directly into your bank account within 3 to 5 working days from the date of our decision. The payment will not affect your Universal Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support entitlement but may be subject to Income Tax.

When and where to make a claim

Each adult can make a claim if they meet the criteria.  There is one payment per period of self-isolation.  If, in the future, you need to self-isolate again, you can make a further claim assuming you meet the criteria and there is a gap between your periods of self-isolation.  If you are isolating at an address that is not your normal home, you must claim direct to the authority where you normally live.

You must make your application no later than 14 days after your period of self-isolation ends.

Who cannot get the Test and Trace Support Payment

You will be not be eligible in any of the following circumstances:

  • You are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
  • You have not experienced a reduction in earnings as a result of having to self-isolate
  • You can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • You were notified that you needed to self-isolate before 28 September 2020 or it is more than 14 days after your period of self-isolation ended
  • You have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate (if you have been alerted by the NHS app, you still need to contact the Test and Trace service)
  • You have to stay at home to look after a child who has to self-isolate.


How to apply

This application form takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Before you complete the form, please get the following ready:

  • The 8-digit Test and Trace ID reference number you were given by NHS Test and Trace. You can find this on the email or text message you received from NHS Test and Trace but if you can’t find it, call them on 119.
  • Your national insurance number 
  • Proof of your bank details.
  • Proof of employment such as your last pay slip, self-assessment return or trading income 
  • A statement on why you cannot work from home and loss of income

Uploading evidence

You can take and upload photographs of the documents requested including screengrabs of digital documents or photos of printed documents. Please make sure they are clear and easy to read to prevent delays.

The form accepts many commonly used file types including JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, PDF and DOC and you can use your phone camera.

The file size limit is 10 MB for each file.

Get help with your application

Someone else can help you apply but the payment must go to your bank account.  Call our Covid helpline on 020 7974 4444 (option 9) if you need help with applying.

Apply now

Apply for Test and Trace Support Payment