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Test and Trace support payments

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result or are told to self-isolate by the NHS because of close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you may be eligible for a £500 payment.

The payment is for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 10 days and cannot work from home during this period.

To be eligible, you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has. From 8th March you can also apply if you are a parent or guardian of a child who is self-isolatingand
  • have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace; and
  • be employed or self-employed; and
  • 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 or Pension Credit

You must meet all of the above criteria to be eligible for a payment. You must apply within 42 days of start date of your isolation period.

If you are not a recipient of one of the above benefits but meet all of the other criteria, you may be eligible for a discretionary payment. The discretionary payment is for applicants who are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they self-isolate. You must apply within 14 days of the self-isolation period ending.

Taxable Payment 

Individuals who qualify and who meet the criteria will be entitled to a £500 lump sum payable into their bank account. These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions. If you’re employed, we will notify HMRC if we have awarded you a payment and HMRC will automatically collect the tax from your pay. If you are self-employed you should report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return. 

The support payment is for people who have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020, or identified as a close contact by the NHS COVID-19 App from 10 December 2020 or a parent or guardian of a child who was told to self-isolate after 8 March. The scheme will run until 30 June 2021. Eligible people will be able to claim for each period of self isolation. 

Parents and guardians of children and young people required to self-isolate

If you’re not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, you could be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment if all of the following apply:

  • you’re the parent or guardian of a child or young person in your household who is self-isolating from 8 March 2021 onwards, and you need to take time off work to care for them; and
  • your child is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan, normally attends an education or childcare setting, and has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting; and
  • you’re unable to work from home and will lose income because you have to care for your child while they are self-isolating; and
  • you meet all the other eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment.

Please click here to apply for a parent/guardian test and trace support payment

Discretionary payment

If you meet all the criteria stated above except that you do not get Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit you may still qualify for a discretionary payment if you are on a low income.

If this applies to you, please complete the application form below. However, you will need to answer additional questions after you have stated that you are not receiving any means-tested benefits. Your application will be submitted to us for consideration once you have provided further information about your household income.

Please note that to be eligible for this payment you need to demonstrate that you are on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work whilst you are self-isolating. We will therefore need to consider your household income and any capital that you have available.

If you are unable to claim benefits because you have nil recourse to public funds, you can still apply for this payment if you meet all of the criteria for the discretionary payment.

How to apply

To apply, you must provide:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (including a unique ID number)
  • a bank statement dated within the last three months showing the account details where the payment will be made. This can be a photo or screenshot but must clearly show the name on the account, your sort code and account number
  • proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact
  • proof of benefits, such as your benefit award letter

Apply for a test and trace support payment

We are receiving a large number of applications so it may take longer than usual to process your application.

If you think you will qualify for a discretionary payment, please use the same form.

Someone else can complete the form on your behalf (with your permission). If you are not able to complete the online form, call 020 8921 3322 for assistance.

If you need help whilst self-isolating, and have not got a family member, friend or neighbour who can help, you can contact our Community Hub.

Evidence to support your application

You will need to provide evidence of your employment or self employment as part of your application, and a recent copy of your bank statement so that we can make payment to you if your application is successful. If you are unable to provide these with the application, please explain on the form why that is.

If you are not able to upload the evidence with the application form you can email it to us at isolation-payments@royalgreenwich.gov.uk. You must provide the evidence within 48 hours of your application, otherwise your claim will be refused.

There will be post-payment verification checks to ensure that the information provided is correct. If it is determined that you were not entitled to the payment, you may be asked to repay the money to the Local Authority.

Other help

If you need help whilst self-isolating, and have not got a family member, friend or neighbour who can help, you can contact our Community Hub.

If you have been economically impacted by COVID-19, you can also contact our Welfare Rights Service.

Read the test and trace support payments privacy notice.