If you are unable to work while you are self-isolating because you cannot work from home or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been asked to self isolate, you may be entitled to a Test and Trace Support payment. If you are eligible you will receive one payment of £500.
Financial support for people who have been asked to self isolate
To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:
- have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because they’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
- not be exempt from self isolation (details of exemptions can be found below)
- 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
- Pension Credit
- be making your application during your period of self-isolation, or no more than 42 days after the first day of your period of self-isolation
Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate – regardless of exemptions from self-isolation – between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. These individuals may therefore be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme – provided they meet the rest of the eligibility criteria. As per the usual rules, applicants have 42 days (until 24 January 2022) to apply for the payment.
Exemptions from self-isolation
You are not required to self-isolate from 16 August if you are notified you have had close contact with someone with COVID-19 and any of the following apply:
- you are fully vaccinated
- you are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
You are fully vaccinated 14 days after your final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine that was administered in the United Kingdom. This is to allow for an antibody response to develop. If you were fully vaccinated at the time you had close contact with a positive case, you will not be required to self-isolate.
If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who’s been told to self-isolate
A parent or guardian may be eligible for support via the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they exempt from self-isolation from 16 August)
- they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them
- they are unable to work from home and will lose income
- the young person is:
- aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
- aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self- isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
- aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been notified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app)
- the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
- the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or a discretionary payment.
If you fulfil all the criteria but you do not receive a qualifying benefit (as per the list above), you may still be eligible under our discretionary scheme. Please check our policy before making an application.
The scheme began on 28 September 2020 when it became illegal to not self isolate if you have tested positive for coronavirus or been identified by NHS Test and Trace.
You can find out more in our privacy notice for the self-isolation payment scheme.