Self-isolation support payments

You are here

Updated 1st October 2021

If you are on a low income and are unable to work because you have been told by NHS Test and Trace that you have to self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of children who have been told to self-isolate by their school or childcare setting you may be eligible for a lump sum payment of £500 as part of the Government’s Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Who will be eligible?

To be eligible you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has; and are not exempt from self-isolation; and
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of close contacts; and
  • be employed or self-employed; and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

You also need to be in receipt of one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are exempt from self-isolating):

  • They are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • be unable to work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result, and
  • the young person is:
  • aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID -19; or
  • aged 25 or under with an Educational, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been notified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app); or
  • self-isolating because there was an outbreak at their educational or childcare setting, and they have been sent home by their local public health team.
  • The young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • The parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a ‘main’ scheme payment.

Discretionary fund payment

The government has also provided limited funding for discretionary awards to be made if you do not meet the criteria for a 'main' scheme payment.

Discretionary Support Payment Guide

To be eligible for a discretionary fund payment you:

  • must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has; and are not exempt from self-isolation; and
  • have responded to messages from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of close contacts; and
  • must be employed or self-employed; and
  • must be unable to work from home; and
  • will lose income as a result of undertaking self-isolation

Providing you are :

  • Not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Job Seekers Allowance or income-based Employment Support Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and or Pension  Credit; 

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a discretionary payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are exempt from self-isolating):

  • They are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them;
  • be unable to work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result, and
  • the young person is:
  • aged 15 or under and has been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID -19; or
  • aged 25 or under with an Educational, Health and Care (EHC) Plan and been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they have tested positive for COVID-19; or
  • aged 25 and under, is not exempt from self-isolation from 16 August, has an EHC Plan and has been notified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app); or
  • self-isolating because there was an outbreak at their educational or childcare setting, and they have been sent home by their local public health team.
  • The young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • The parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a ‘discretionary’payment.

How to apply

To apply for a self-isolation support payment, please complete the online application form.

Apply now

Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 42 days after the first day of their self-isolation period. Applications will not be accepted after this point.

What evidence will I need to provide when making an application?

You will need to provide us with the following supporting evidence:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique eight digit ID number); and
  • a recent bank statement; and
  • proof of employment/earnings, 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 that you lost income due to having to stay at home
  • If you are staying at home to look after a child or young person you will also need to provide either;

    • The child’s eight digit NHS Test and Trace ID number. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have had received a notification directly from NHS Test and Trace telling them to self-isolate.
      OR
    • A communication from the child’s or young person’s school or care setting confirming that they have to self-isolate. This is for parents and guardians of children or young people who have been told to self-isolate by their school or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive.
      OR
    • A screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate AND evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan. This is for parents and guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs and who have been notified to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 App.

What information will I need when making an application?

Before you make an application make sure you have the following information:

  • your National Insurance number
  • your full name
  • your date of birth
  • your contact telephone numbers including a working mobile number
  • full names, dates of birth and national insurance numbers for everyone living in your household
  • your current full address and postcode
  • details of benefits you receive and how much you get
  • details of your employment
  • A recent bank statement
  • your unique ID number as provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • If you are claiming because your child has to self-isolate details of your child’s school or care setting, name, address, and contact details

How will payments be made?

Payments will be made by bank transfer to the bank account matching the bank statement provided as part of your proof of eligibility

Will these payments be taxed?

These payments will be subject to income tax. They will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

How long will this be in place for?

The scheme will run until 31 March 2022. During this time, government will continue to review the scheme.

How many times can I apply?

A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.

The self-isolation period for which you are claiming cannot overlap with a previous self-isolation period.

How quickly will I receive the payment?

Within 3 working days of the evidence being verified by our team.

Can a bank take this to pay my overdraft?

No, banks are not allowed to use this payment or any other benefit to repay an overdraft. But you'll need to contact your bank directly as soon as possible to protect the payment. This protection is called a 'First Right of Appropriation of Funds Order'. Read more about the Right of Appropriation

Can I apply if I’ve got a notification to self-isolate from the APP?

Yes, but first you will need to register with NHS Test & Trace by following a link in the APPYou must do this whilst you are in your isolation period. If you are struggling with the APP, take a look at the NHS guidance video or call NHS 119

If you apply, we will need to process your personal data to assess whether you are eligible to receive financial support, and if so, to provide a payment to you. Read our self-isolation payment privacy notice to find out what personal data we will use, how we will use it, and why we need to.

Further help available 

Whether you meet the criteria or not set by Government, there is help available for those facing financial difficulty or needing support. The Suffolk Advice and Support Service helps people across the county access information or support relating to debt, benefits, housing or employment. You can contact the service on 0800 068 3131 between 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday or visit Suffolk Advice and Support Service.