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Coronavirus: Extra Help - Test and Trace Support Payment

Extra Help - Test and Protect Support Payment

Test and Trace Support payment for low-income workers - England 

From 28th September 2020, people in England and Wales are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

To help those low paid workers who cannot work from home the government has introduced a new Test and Trace Support Payment. click here

Is it for people in receipt of certain benefits* who normally work (employment or self-employment), but who are having to self-isolate at home, who are unable to work from home and have lost income. 

The government hope that this extra payment – paid on top of these benefits - will mean people "don't lose out by doing the right thing".

Those entitled need to apply to their Local Authority- generally the claim will be online.

* The LA does have the discretion to award a Test and Trace Payment to those who don’t receive the qualifying benefits, but are on a low income and could suffer financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.

Guidance for LAs available here.

Who’s eligible?

To be eligible for the funding, individuals must meet the following criteria:

1. Have tested positive for Covid-19 on or after 28th September 2020 or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace on or after 28th September asking them to self-isolate. 

2. Be employed or self-employed.

3. Be unable to work from home (checks will be undertaken on all applicants).

4.     Will lose income as a result.

5. Be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Income-Related Employment Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit.

Applying for the payment

People will make an online application (or a telephone application if they are digitally excluded) to their Local Authority and will need to submit as supporting evidence:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number);
  • a bank statement; and
  • proof of employment, or, if they are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.


How much will they get?

For those that qualify they will receive a payment of £500 per person.

Payments will be provided within 48 hours of the eligible individual providing the necessary evidence. Individuals will be asked to provide a notification from NHS Test and Trace and a bank statement.

The payment will be totally disregarded as income for benefit purposes. But will be taxable.


Can someone make multiple claims if asked to isolate multiple times?

A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.

Wales: Self isolation Support Scheme 

The Welsh scheme is more or less identical to the English scheme ... click here

Scotland: Self Isolation Support Grant 

The Scottish scheme, open for applications from 12 October, will pay a £500 Grant to eligible people on low incomes who have been told to self-isolate through the Test and Protect Programme and are unable to work from home. From 6th February 2021 the Scottish £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant has been extended to workers earning the Real Living Wage or less, as well as those in receipt of a council tax reduction; and to those with caring responsibilities for someone over 16 who is asked to self-isolate. click here

It will be targeted at people who are in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits, with some discretion to make awards to others in financial hardship. . 

It will be delivered through the Scottish Welfare Fund which is administered by local authorities.

An individual can apply immediately they have been told to self-isolate, but local authorities are also being encouraged to pro-actively telephone people who have been asked to self-isolate, to obtain information about eligibility for financial support, and to offer support in applying.