Coronavirus support for vulnerable and high risk people

Test and Trace support payment of £500

From Monday 28 September 2020 it is a legal requirement to self-isolate if you or someone who have been in close contact with tests positive for COVID-19.

In addition, the Government are introducing new measures to provide financial support to those who cannot work while self-isolating.

These changes will:

  • Introduce a new Test and Trace Support Payment of a £500 lump sum payment for those on low incomes to support them if they cannot work during their self-isolation period.
  • Introduce penalties for those breaking the rules, including fines on a sliding scale from £1,000 up to a maximum of £10,000 for multiple breaches.
  • Place a new legal obligation on employers that they must not knowingly enable or encourage their employees to break the law on self-isolation.
  • Provide discretionary funding for local authorities to help those who require corresponding financial support to the Test and Trace Support Payment to self-isolate, but do not meet all of the eligibility criteria.

Helping Others

  • The Support Payment scheme relies on residents having an NHS Test and Trace reference number. 
  • It is crucial that when you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team, you provide the name and contact details of others you’ve been near recently.

Without you providing this information, those people will not be able to claim for the £500 payment if they need to.

NHS Test and Trace will not share details of who the positive case they have been in contact with is, or who provided their details to them. Your information will not be shared with anyone you have been in contact with.

Who is eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment, you must:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace team.
  • This might be because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • You will be asked to provide evidence of this contact, usually be a unique NHS Test and Trace ID number.
  • Be employed or self-employed;
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • 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.

This payment is subject to income tax but will not effect any Universal Credit or other benefit payments you may currently be receiving.

The scheme will run until the 31st January 2021.

Applying for the Test and Trace support payment of £500

If you meet the above criteria, you will need to fill in an online form to request the £500 self-isolation payment.

 Apply - self isolation payment form

You are able to claim if you have been contacted after the 28th September 2020 by the NHS Test and Trace team.

If you need assistance completing the form online you can contact the COVID-19 Helpline at 0207 473 9711 (1-7pm, 7 days a week) or email [email protected]. A member of the team will complete the form with you over the phone.

More financial help

If you need to talk to someone about financial help now, please call MoneyWorks at 020 8430 2041 (9am-5pm, Monday to Friday) or email [email protected]

We will be regularly updating these pages with Government advice, so please check back for any new information.

Alternative Support

If you are self-isolating but do not meet the above criteria, you may still be able to get financial support.

You may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer for every day of work you miss because of coronavirus. You can check if you are eligible for SSP online on the website.

For more information the COVID-19 Helpline will be able to direct you to various services which may be able to assist you. You can contact the COVID-19 Helpline at 0207 473 9711 (1-7pm, 7 days a week) or [email protected].