Test and trace support payments

People who are contacted by the Test and Trace service are required to self-isolate by law. This is supported by payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.

Test and Trace Support Payment

These payments are designed to help ensure people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus.

They are also designed to encourage individuals who are eligible for this payment to get tested if they have symptoms. This is important to help stop the transmission of COVID-19 and avoid further economic and societal restrictions.

The scheme will continue until 30 June 2021.

Full government guidance is available below:

View the WDC scheme document:

Eligibility

Eligibility for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is restricted to people who have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace,  because:

  • They 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; and
  • Are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

Exclusions

Applicants who are self-isolating who haven’t been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

We will only consider applications from individuals who have a valid notification from NHS Test and Trace telling them to stay at home and self-isolate

Applicants who are quarantining after returning to the UK

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Discretionary Payment Scheme

There is a Discretionary Payment Scheme available for people that do not meet the criteria for the Test and Trace Support Payment.

View the full scheme document: Test and Trace Discretionary Scheme

Eligibility

People who are eligible to qualify for the Discretionary Payment Scheme, do so because:

  • They have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have rested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone that has tested positive; and
  • They are employed or self-employed; and
  • Are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • Are not in receipt of;
    • Universal credit
    • Working tax credit
    • Income related employment and support allowance
    • Income based jobseekers allowance
    • Income support
    • Housing benefit, or
    • Pension credit; and

An applicant’s gross earnings are no greater than £290 per week. This figure is before any deductions for tax, national insurance, pension or other non-statutory items. This is the amount that the applicant would normally earn prior to self-isolation. Where an applicant has earnings above this level then they would not normally be eligible.

An applicant’s gross earnings are no less than £80 per week. This figure is before any deductions for tax, national insurance, pension or other non-statutory items;

An applicant must not possess capital of £3,000 or more. Any applicant with capital above that level would not be eligible. For the sake of clarity, capital will be calculated in accordance with the rules for Housing Benefit;

In all cases applicants will need to demonstrate that they will suffer financial hardship by having to self-isolate.

Exclusions

University students or those in further or other higher education are excluded from applying for a discretionary grant;

Individuals who have applied for a qualifying benefit but have not yet received a decision or have appealed against a decision not to award a qualifying benefit and are awaiting the outcome of the appeal will be eligible to claim provided they meet all other criteria within this section;

Applicants who are excluded from qualifying benefits by the “Persons from Abroad” provisions within the welfare benefit schemes will be eligible to claim provided they meet all other criteria within this section.

Parent and guardian payments

Parents and guardians who are caring for a child or young person who is self-isolating from 8th March 2021.
Applicants must meet all the criteria below:

  • they are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self isolation period.
  • they are employed or self-employed.
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.
  • their child or young person:
    • – is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting.
    • – has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Backdating

Applications must be made within 42 days of first day of isolation

Application Process

Apply online for a Test and Trace Support Payment or Discretionary Support payment of £500  or Parents and guardians who are caring for a child or young person who is self-isolating

Privacy notice

Please see details of our privacy notice which explains how we will use your application data:

Privacy notice for the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme