Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Self-isolation Support Payment

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme ended on 24 February 2022. If you were required to isolate before this date, you could still submit an application up to 42 days after your first day of isolation. This meant the scheme closed for applications on the 6 April 2022.

Changes to self-isolation requirements 

People who are fully vaccinated and identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means they are ineligible for a payment (unless they test positive themselves, at which point they would become eligible).

Also from this date, anyone under 18 who is identified as a close contact will be exempt from self-isolation. This will mean that most parents and guardians will be ineligible for a payment if their child is identified as a contact, as the child will no longer be required to self-isolate. As children who have tested positive will still be required to self-isolate, their parents and guardians will still be eligible, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated (as they may need to stay at home and look after their child). The child must have tested positive confirmed by PCR test.

If a young person aged under 25 who is not fully vaccinated has been identified as a close contact and they have an Education, Health and Care plan, their parents or guardians may be eligible if they need to stay at home to look after them.

From 11 January 2022 in England, people who receive positive lateral flow results for Covid-19 will be 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. With Covid-19 rates so high, the Government is very confident that someone with a positive LFD result has Covid-19 and can act on that test result without needing a PCR test too. Individual who self-report a positive LFD test and wish to claim for Test and Trace Support Payment will need to take a confirmatory PCR test – the position remains the same. Only those who take this PCR test will have their information put onto the eligibility checker and be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment.

Eligibility for a self-isolation payment

You may be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment, if you have been told by NHS to self-isolate because:
  • you've tested positive for Covid-19
  • you've been in contact with someone who has tested positive
To be eligible for the scheme you must also:
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating as well as currently receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

Please read our Test and Trace Payment Standard Scheme policy for further details on the criteria. 

Discretionary Scheme

This scheme has now reopened from 14 January 2021 as further funding has been provided to us for these payments.​ If you are not receiving one of these benefits but face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work due to self-isolating, you may still be entitled to help through the Discretionary Scheme. 

All residents can claim the payment with the exception of full-time students and those who do not normally reside in the UK.

There is a capital limit for applicants of £6,000. 

We determine low income for eligibility to be –

  • lower threshold – applicant must normally have a gross wage of at least £80.00 per week and this has reduced due to self-isolation and they cannot work from home
  • upper threshold – applicant has an income of no more than £400.00 per week gross

To apply for the Self-isolation Payment or Discretionary Scheme this please complete the application form below. Please note we may need to ask you further questions to determine your eligibility.

Who isn’t eligible? 

You will not be eligible for the schemes if you:
  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 10-day quarantine period)
  • continue to receive full wages while you self-isolating 
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • were notified by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate before 28 September 2020
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • are currently furloughed from work. The payment is for people who are losing income because they are unable to work because they are self-isolating

What evidence will I need to supply? 

To verify your application, you will need to provide the following evidence with your application: 
  • your 8-digit NHS Test and Trace reference
  • a copy of your latest bank statement (issued in the last two months). This can be a photo or screenshot but must clearly show the name on the account, your sort code and account number. This will be the account which you would like the payment made into if you are successful.
  • proof of employment (if applicable) such as a recent wage slip or bank statement showing the wages being paid into your account.
  • proof of self-employment (if applicable) such as a recent business bank statement (issued in the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
  • proof of your qualifying benefit
  • to consent for us to access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm your eligibility.
  • If you are applying for the payment as you are looking after a child who needs to self-isolate you will need a letter from the education establishment with their details confirming this

How we will use this information

The Council will ensure we secure your personal information and will only share data with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds. Our Data Sharing Policy is available to read.  
If you provide false or inaccurate information, we will record this. We and other fraud prevention agencies may use and search these records to prevent fraud and money laundering. The Council’s Fraud Team may undertake checks to verify the validity of claims and detect fraud or error. In addition, we may use other external agencies to check data received, such as the National Anti-Fraud Network (NAFN) and Credit Reference Agencies. We will store this information electronically and share it with other council officers who may be involved in considering your application or where it is in your interest to do so.
The Council will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud – and any individual caught falsifying their records to gain a Test and Trace Support Payment will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back.