Housing Systems: Combating poverty and sustaining tenancies.

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 

The Test and Trace Support payment  is for people who are in receipt of certain benefits* who normally work (employed or self-employed), but who are having to self-isolate at home, or are looking after a child they are the parent or guardian of who has tested positive for Covid-19, and who are unable to work from home and have lost income. For more details click here.

The government hope that this extra payment – paid on top of other 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 (when Test and Trace Support Payments were introduced) or received a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking them to self-isolate (and they are not exempt from self-isolating). 

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 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. For more information click here.

From 6th February 2021 the Scottish £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant was 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 are asked to self-isolate. 

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. 

Payments are 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.

The scheme started on 12 October 2020.