Coronavirus: Self-isolation payments

How to claim a Test and Trace Support payment (coronavirus)

Changes from January 2022

From 11 January 2022, people in England who receive positive lateral flow results for COVID-19 are required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. This is a temporary measure while COVID-19 rates remain high across the UK. However, if you wish to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment, you are still required to book a PCR test.

Self-isolation

Making sure those who have COVID-19 (and those who have been in close contact with them) self-isolate is one of our most powerful tools for controlling the spread of coronavirus.

Self-isolating, where friends and family or delivery services bring supplies to your door, helps prevent your family, friends and community from catching the virus, as well as helping to protect the NHS.

Find out what to do if you need to claim a payment and you're using your overdraft.

About the payment

The government is providing a grant to support people who:

  • are in work on low incomes and have to self-isolate
  • have to stay at home to care for a child/young person whilst they self-isolate

You may be able to claim a £500 lump sum payment if you cannot work from home during the isolation period.

This payment aims to help make up for any lost income people may face by having to stay at home.

Who can get it?

You must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app (from 10 December) because of a positive coronavirus test or identified, recent close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • have obtained a unique NHS Test and Trace account ID (this is automatic if you're called, but you have to request an ID if told via the app)
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit
  • have completed the contact tracing journey, including completing all the steps you are asked to follow

Or, from the 8 March 2021, you must:

  • be the parent or guardian of a child/young person, in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them whilst they self-isolate as instructed by their school or childcare setting
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit

Eligibility from 16 August 2021

From 16 August, fully vaccinated individuals and under 18s no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19. This affects your eligibility for a Test and Trace Support payment:

  • if you are fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact by the COVID-19 app or NHS Test and Trace you will no longer be required to self-isolate. You will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment if you are not required to self-isolate
  • if you are fully vaccinated and test positive for COVID-19 you will still need to self-isolate. You may still be eligible for a support payment if you meet the eligibility criteria
  • anyone under 18 identified as a close contact will no longer be required to self-isolate. You will not be eligible for a support payment as a parent or guardian if your child no longer needs to self-isolate
  • children who test positive for COVID-19 will still need to self-isolate. You may still be eligible for a support payment as a parent or guardian if you need to stay home and look after a child that has tested positive for COVID-19 and you meet the eligibility criteria

Eligibility from 14 December 2021

From 14 December fully vaccinated adults and young people who have been identified as the contact of a COVID-19 case should take a NHS lateral flow test every day for seven days. The following groups are eligible to take part in daily testing if they have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case:

  • fully vaccinated household and non-household adult close contacts
  • contacts who have taken part in, or are currently part of, an approved COVID-19 vaccine trials
  • contacts who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons
  • contacts who are between the ages of 5 and 18 years and 6 months

As these individuals do not have to self-isolate, they - or their parents and guardians, in the case of young people - will be ineligible for a test and trace support payment (TTSP) unless they test positive for COVID-19. If someone is eligible for daily testing and chooses not to take part, they will not be eligible for TTSP.

Adult contacts who are not fully vaccinated will still be required to self-isolate, so will not be able to take part in daily testing. They will therefore be eligible for TTSP. The exception to this is unvaccinated adult contacts who are taking part in an approved workplace daily contact testing scheme. These contacts will not be eligible for TTSP unless they test positive for COVID-19.

How to get your unique NHS Test and Trace account ID

If you test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or are told to self-isolate by contact tracers, you’ll be given an NHS Test and Trace account ID automatically.

If you're told to self-isolate by the COVID-19 app because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll need to request an NHS Test and Trace account ID before you can apply for support. Find out how to request your account ID.

Discretionary support payments

If you are not receiving any of the qualifying benefits for a Test and Trace Support payment, you can still get a discretionary support payment if you meet all the other criteria and one of the following:

  • you or your partner have applied for any of the qualifying benefits and you are waiting for a decision
  • you or your partner cannot claim the qualifying benefits because of immigration status
  • you or your partner are receiving (or have applied for) Local Council Tax Support
  • you or your partner are receiving Child Tax Credit

View or download the details of our discretionary support payment scheme (PDF).

Apply online, if you think you meet the conditions

Apply online for a support payment

Due to the high volume of applications we are receiving, it may take up to 10 working days for a decision to be emailed through to you. Please do not chase your payment until at least 10 working days following the submission of your application.