Test and Trace Support Payments

This page was last updated on 14 January 2022

You may be entitled to a payment of £500 if you have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Test and Trace Support Payments are intended to help people in low paid work, to compensate for the loss of their wages whilst they self-isolate.

If you are fully vaccinated you will usually not be required to self-isolate unless you test positive for COVID-19. Fully vaccinated means you have received two doses of the approved vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, etc.) or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine (though this is not common in the UK). It does not include the booster jab.

Test and Trace Support Payments are also available for parents or guardians who have to take time off work to look after a child who is self-isolating. For more details please see our Test and Trace Support Payments for parents and guardians page.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible if all of the following apply:

  • you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace 
  • you have told NHS Test and Trace how they can get in touch with you, where you tested positive, and who you have been in contact with
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are in receipt of one of the following qualifying benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Job Seeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit

If you are asked to isolate more than once you can apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment each time you have to self-isolate, providing the two periods don't overlap.

Individuals within the same household can make separate claims providing each applicant meets the qualifying criteria.

Discretionary payments

If you satisfy all of the eligibility criteria apart from receiving a qualifying benefit you may be able to get a discretionary payment.

These are intended to help people who:

  • live in a low income household and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating - we will take into account the incomes of everyone in the household
  • have no recourse to public funds if they meet criteria above

Who is not eligible?

You cannot get a payment if you:

  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • are in quarantine after travelling abroad - unless you test positive for COVID-19 during your quarantine period
  • continue to receive full wages during your period of self-isolation
  • can work from home during the period of your self-isolation.

How to apply

Fill out the form below. You must apply and submit all proofs of evidence within 42 days of the start of your self-isolation period. You can apply for a discretionary payment using the same form.

You will need to provide the following information. You can attach photos of these documents to the application form. We will be unable to make a payment until we have received these pieces of evidence:

  • your 8-digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID
  • your latest statement for the bank account where your payment is to be made to - we can only make a payment to an account in your name
  • proof you are employed, such as a recent pay slip or bank statement
  • proof you are self-employed, such as your latest business bank statement, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns
  • proof that you live in Bury, such as your driver's licence, a utility bill, or bank statement

If you are unable to apply online a friend or family member can claim on your behalf. If you have no access to the internet and no-one to help you please ring us on 0161 253 5858. Please do not break the self-isolation rules to make your claim or provide evidence.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

What happens next?

We will check with the Department for Work and Pensions, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs and NHS Test and Trace to confirm your income and self-isolation status.

When we have verified your claim we aim to make a payment as soon as possible.

Payments are subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions.

If your bank account is overdrawn you can ask your bank to use the £500 to pay your bills rather than your overdraft. This is called 'exercising your first right of appropriation'. If you want to do this you must tell your bank that you are expecting a £500 NHS Test and Trace Support Payment, and detail how you would like to spend the money.

Right of appeal

There is no right of appeal against a decision not to award a payment. If you do not receive the test and trace payment it is because you do not meet the criteria.

Due to unprecedented demand for the test and trace payments we cannot enter in to any correspondence or reply to any requests to review our decision.