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

It has been recognised that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the spread of Covid-19. 
It is now a legal requirement that anybody who has been told to isolate by the NHS Test and Trace must. Anybody who is found to not be self-isolating may be fined. 
Following this, the government announced a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500. This funding is to help those on lower income, cannot work from home and have lost income due to self-isolation. This scheme is due to end on the 31 March 2022.

Changes to self-isolation requirements from the 16 August 2021

From 16 August 2021, 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.

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
Please have your evidence available before you begin the application form, you will be able to upload the evidence electronically through the application form. If you have any further information you can email this

How do I apply? 

Please complete the online application form. You must apply within 42 days of your first day of isolation. 

What happens next?

Once we have received your completed application and evidence, we will review it and carry out checks across relevant Council departments, with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and NHS Test and Trace to confirm your self-isolation status. If your application is successful, we will notify Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes.
We aim to process your application and make a payment within three working days of receiving all the required information. We will notify you by email of the outcome of your application.

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.