Test and Trace Support Payments Scheme
Test and Trace Support payments
From 28 September 2020, individuals may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500, if they meet the eligibility criteria. The payment is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home if they are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.
NHS Test and Trace
If you test positive for coronavirus, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. This means you can apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you meet the eligibility criteria below. You will be given an 8 digit code that you will need to supply in your application.
From 16th August 2021, if you have been identified as a close contact by the NHS Covid -19 App, have not been fully vaccinated and aged 18 or over, you will be able to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme. Please see below for details of Eligibility
- To apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, you'll need to register with NHS Test and Trace and provide your local authority with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID. This is an 8-digit code that is sometimes also referred to as a CTAS number. If you test positive for coronavirus, or are told to self-isolate by contact tracers, you will be provided with the Account ID ready to take to your local authority.
- Anyone who receives notification of a positive test result (including app users who initially report their symptoms through the app and are referred on to the test booking system) will be able to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment, if they meet the other eligibility criteria. When someone receives a positive test, they are legally obligated to self-isolate and will be provided their NHS Test and Trace ID via the email and mobile number they provide when ordering the test.
- Individuals will not be eligible for the payment while they wait for a test, nor if they test negative. We are continuing to expand testing capacity in order to meet increases in demand. This will minimise the time that people have to wait for test results. It would be impracticable to offer financial support to everyone self-isolating because they have symptoms.
- If the NHS COVID-19 App has told you to self-isolate because you've been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, have not been fully vaccinated and aged 18 or over, you will need to follow some steps to request your Account ID. This is because the app is anonymous, so you need to register with NHS Test and Trace by following a link in the app. You must do this while you are in your self-isolation period. You cannot request your Account ID after you've finished self-isolating.
- To start the process, select ‘Financial support'. This button appears on the home screen of the app when you've been told to self-isolate because you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
- You'll be taken to a website which will ask you for some information to check whether you could be eligible. None of the information you provide will be passed back to the NHS COVID-19 App. The app is designed to protect your privacy and does not know who or where you are.
- If your answers show that you may be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, there are 4 steps to apply for the payment. Step 1 - Confirm who you are with NHS login
- You need to log in or register with NHS login so we can check who you are. If you are registering, you will receive a confirmation link in an email. When you read the email, make sure you keep the existing screen open so that you can continue to the next step. Step 2 - Enter personal details
- You will be asked to enter your name so that NHS Test and Trace can carry out some checks. None of your personal details will be given to the app. Step 3 - Register with NHS Test and Trace
- You will get an email and text message from NHS Test and Trace within one hour. Communication hours are between 7.30 am to 8.30 pm. If you register outside of these hours, there may be a delay in receipt of the email or text message until opening hours resume. Read about what to do if you have not received this email or text message.
- These messages will include a link which you need to follow to complete your registration with NHS Test and Trace. You must do this while you are still in your self-isolation period. You will not be able to apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment without completing this step.
- Once you have completed your registration, you will receive a final confirmation email and text message from NHS Test and Trace. You will then be subject to the legal obligation to self-isolate Step 4 - Apply to your local authority
- Once you have received this second email or text message with your NHS Test and Trace Account ID, you can apply for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment from your local authority. You can apply to your local authority up to 42 days after your self-isolation period has begins. Receiving an NHS Test and Trace Account ID does not necessarily mean you will be eligible for the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment. You must request the Account ID during the self-isolation period. Once you have this, you can claim up until 14 days after your self-isolation period ended.
You can apply for a Test and Trace payment if you have been told to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020, or identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App, have not been fully vaccinated and aged 18 or over, from 16th August 2021.
the payment is restricted to people who;
- have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and you have not been fully vaccinated and aged 18 or over
- are employed or self-employed
- are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- 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
Before you submit an application please ensure you have your 8 digit Test and Trace Unique ID from NHS test and Trace, you will need to include this.
You will have to upload a bank statement showing your name, sort code and account that you would like the payment to be made into. This must be in the name of the person who is making the application, we cannot pay into someone else's account.
if you are working, we will need your most recent payslip confirming you are in employment and written confirmation from your employer as to what your earnings will be whilst you are isolating.
If you are Self Employed we will need your most recent accounts, your HMRC Tax Assessment or evidence of trading. All documents will need to be in PDF, PNG, JPEG or JPG format. If your accounts are in another format please save as PDF documents on your device ready to upload.
You will need to provide some information about the type of work you do and why this cannot be done at home, we may contact you or your employer for more information.
The Test and Trace Support Payment Policy provides more information.
If you meet the above conditions but are not receiving one of the above benefits you can apply for the Test and Trace Support Discretionary payment, if your;
- Regular gross earnings are between £80 - £500 per week if paid weekly or £346 and £2,167 if paid calendar monthly
- your and/or your partner's savings are below £6,000
- you have regular expenses that you will be unable to pay
Full time students and those in Higher Education will not be eligible for a discretionary payment. If you are experiencing hardship you should contact your University or College.
In addition to the above information, you will have to supply 3 months bank statements to evidence your regular household expenditure and provide details of the hardship you will experience as a direct result of having to self isolate.
Your application will be considered on an individual basis.
The Test and Trace Discretionary Policy provides more information.
Parent or Guardian of child who has to isolate
If you are the parent or guardian of a child that lives in your household and you need to take time off work to care for them while they isolate you can claim a Test and Trace Support payment. This payment is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person's period of isolation.
To qualify you must meet the following conditions;
- You are either employed or self-employed.
- You cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.
- That you meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment as stated above.
- Your child 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 and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
You need to complete the application, if you do not have a Unique ID then please enter 0000 in the field, and complete the section at the end of the form about the child or young person who has to isolate.
We are required by law, to share some of your information with other Government departments, please see our Coronavirus Privacy statement for more information.
To validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your Test and Trace Support Payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.
This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating.
We may also share any information you provide to us with other Council Services.
If you have any queries please email us email@example.com
If you are unable to complete the application form online please call 01902 696668 and someone will take you through the application form over the phone.
Once you have submitted the application form you will receive an acknowledgement to confirm your claim has been received. If you do not receive a confirmation please try to submit your claim again.
If you have to self isolate and require additional support then please see our Community Support information for details of organisations that are in your locality.
If you are struggling to pay your rent you may qualify for a payment of Housing Costs with your Universal Credit or Housing Benefit, details can be found on our page Apply for Housing Benefits.
If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, you may be entitled to Council Tax Support, go to our Benefit Calculator to check if you will qualify.
If you have debts that you are struggling to pay, the Citizens Advice can offer advice and support.