Apply for Test and Trace Support Payments

National payment scheme for employed and self employed people

The government introduced £500 Test and Trace Support Payments to help people who can’t work because they've been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. 

Parents and guardians can also apply if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

If you are unemployed please use this form.

How the national payment scheme works

You could qualify for a Test and Trace Support Payment if you answer yes to all 5 questions below.

  1. Have you been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either by phone or by the NHS COVID-19 app?
  2. Have you been given a Contact Tracing and Advice Service (CTAS) reference number by NHS Test and Trace, or by the app?
    • if you do not have a reference number, you will need to get it from NHS Test and Trace. We cannot give you the payment without this number
    • the reference number will be an 8 digit code, and may look like this - z1h4chy5
    • you must have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of your close recent contacts

  1. Are you either employed or self-employed?
  2. As a result of being told to self-isolate, are you: 
    • unable to work from home, and
    • losing income because you cannot work from home
  1. Are you currently receiving, or have you applied for one or more of the following:

    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Even if you do not receive any of these benefits, we may be able to pay you the award as long as you meet the other four points.

Unfortunately we cannot pay if:

  • you are staying at home for any other reason, for example because your place of work is closed, or your employer has said you cannot go in
  • you were not working at the time you were told to self-isolate

You must make your application within 42 days of your self-isolation period start date or you will not qualify for a payment.

Full vaccination as of 16 August 2021

If it has been at least 14 days since you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, then you (or your child) will no longer need to self-isolate if you are identified as being a close contact of someone who has tested positive with COVID-19. This means you will no longer qualify for a self-isolation payment and we will not be able to proceed with your application.

If you (or a child) have tested positive for COVID-19, or it has been less than 14 days since your full vaccination, and you have met the above criteria, then you will still qualify for a Test and Trace Support payment.

Payments for parents or guardians

Parents and guardians who do not need to self-isolate can apply for a payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

You can only make one application per child or young person per household.

To qualify for this payment, you must meet the following criteria as well as the 5 criteria points above:

  1. The parent or guardian must be in the same household as the child or young person and needs to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate
  2. The child or young person who normally attends an education or childcare setting must be either:
    • aged 15 or under
    • aged between 16 and 25 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)
  3. The child or young person has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or by their education or childcare setting - this can be evidenced by providing either:
    • the child’s 8-digit Test and Trace ID number - for ages 15 and under
    • a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting to confirm that they have to self-isolate
    • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 app notification to confirm they need to self-isolate and proof of an EHC - for ages 16 to 25

If your child is entitled to Free School Meals, then you may be able to receive assistance whilst your child isolates at home. Your school should have sent you financial help in the form of a voucher, but if you haven't received this, then please contact your child’s education or child care setting, or send an email to the School Meals team for further help.

Local discretionary payments 

If you do not receive any benefits, we may be able to make a discretionary payment of £500 if you'll face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you self-isolate. You must still be able to answer yes to questions 1 to 4 above.

The fund is being used  to help households who are struggling to support themselves during their period of isolation.

Find more information about Test and Trace Support Payments on our frequently asked questions page: 

Get a note for your employer

The NHS can provide an isolation note for your employer if you have been told to self-isolate because of COVID-19.

All you need to do is complete a form on the NHS website.