The Test and Trace Support Payment is to help you during your self-isolation period if you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
The scheme runs until 30 June 2021.
It is for:
- people who have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020
- people who have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 app from 10 December 2020
- a parent or guardian who is staying off work to look after a child who is self-isolating from Monday 8 March 2021.
If you need to self-isolate and meet the eligibility criteria you may get £500. You will be paid this as a lump sum.
The payment is taxable if you are a taxpayer. It is not subject to National Insurance Contributions. If you're employed HMRC will automatically collect the tax from your pay. If you are self-employed you should report the payment on your 2020 to 2021 Self-Assessment tax return.
Who can apply
To be eligible, you must:
- live in Medway
- be employed or self-employed
- be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- be 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.
To be eligible, you must also meet one of the following:
- have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace Service
- have been identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020
- be a parent or guardian who is staying off work to look after a child who is self-isolating from Monday 8 March 2021.
You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:
- do not live in Medway
- are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the quarantine period)
- are furloughed or continue to get full wages while self-isolating
- can work from home during a period of self-isolation
- are no longer required to self-isolate, for example, your period of self-isolation ended before the payment scheme launched
- did not get a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
There is a discretionary scheme for people who do not get a qualifying benefit.
Parents and guardians
The eligibility criteria for test and trace payments are changing to include a parent or guardian who is staying off work to look after a child who is self-isolating from Monday 8 March 2021.
Visit our parents and guardians page for more details.
Apply for a support payment
You can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment online.
You can only apply for one payment per self-isolation period. For example, if you are self-isolating for 10 days you can make one application. If you need to self-isolate in the future, you can apply again.
Claims can be made up to six weeks (42 days) after the first day of self-isolation.
What you'll need
You'll need the following information to apply for the support payment:
- your 8-digit NHS Test and Trace reference
- your National Insurance number
- your contact details
- your date of birth
- a copy of your NHS Test and Trace notification that clearly shows the date you got the notification and the Test and Trace ID. For example, a letter, photo or screenshot of an email
- your bank details and a copy of your latest bank statement (issued in the last two months). This can be a photo or screenshot but must clearly show the name on the account, your sort code and account number. This will be the account which you would like the payment made to if you are successful
- proof of employment, such as a recent wage slip or bank statement (issued in the last two months) showing the wages being paid into your account
- proof of self-employment, such as a recent business bank statement (issued in the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
- proof of benefits, such as your benefit award letter.
If you're a parent or guardian who is staying off work to look after a child who is self-isolating, you will also need to provide at least one of the following pieces of supporting evidence:
- the child’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
- a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
- a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC). This is for parents or guardians of young people aged 16 to 25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App.
We will access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm your eligibility. Read the NHS Test and Trace privacy notice.
We are receiving a large number of applications. It may take longer than usual to process your application.
After you have applied
We may contact you if you do not provide enough information in your application.
Once your application has been processed, we will contact you with the outcome. If we contact you to confirm you are eligible, we will pay the support payment into your bank account within 3 working days of this confirmation.
What to do if you have been notified to self-isolate via the NHS COVID-19 App.