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Updated 5 January 2021

The Government has announced a new payment to support people who face financial difficulty if they have been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

If you have been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period. This scheme will run from 28 September 2020 to 31 January 2021.

Please see the GOV.UK website for the full and latest information. 

Who will be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; and
  • be employed or self-employed; and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • be aged 16 or over; and
  • be currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

If you are not receiving one of these benefits, are on a low income and unable to support yourself financially during your self-isolation period you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for payment if you:

  • are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14 day quarantine period):
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate:
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation:
  • are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ended before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020:
  • your period of self-isolation started before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020, even if you are still required to self-isolate after that date.

How do I apply?

To apply for a support payment you will need to complete an application form and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. No application can be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number.

Applications will be accepted up to fourteen days after the end of the self-isolation period.

Apply for a Plymouth Test and Trace support Payment

Before you start your application

You will need the following information to make an application:

  • your eight digit NHS Test and Trace Account ID Number e.g. 'c6bc457f' - This can be found in the text message, email or letter you have been sent by NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate or on the confirmation message you were sent when you completed the NHS Test and Trace questionnaire.  You will not be eligible for a payment without this.
  • a copy or photo of the NHS Test and Trace notification you received. This must clearly show the date you received notification and the Test and Trace ID Number;
  • your National Insurance Number;
  • your bank details;
  • a recent bank statement (within the last 2 months) that shows your name as the account holder, the account number and sort code. If the statement does not show your name please also supply a photo of your bank card (without showing the 16 digit card number). We cannot make a payment without evidence that the bank account is in your name.

  • proof of earnings either a wage slip or bank statement clearly showing proof of your earnings (one issued within the last two months);
  • proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns.

Test and Trace Support Payments are subject to Tax but exempt from any National Insurance Contribution.

Test and Trace Support Payments do not count as income for benefit purposes.

We may contact your employer to confirm that you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

Payments may be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence as requested when submitting your application.

Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?

You can help someone else fill out an application, or fill out an application on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else; payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

What happens next?

Once you have submitted your completed application and supporting evidence we will carry out the necessary checks to confirm you are eligible for a payment. If we are able to confirm you are entitled we will contact you to confirm when you will receive your payment.

If you are successful we aim to make payment within three working days of your application being verified.

If I receive a support payment what am I required to do?

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone

  • testing positive or
  • has been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.


You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud my be subject to recovery action, as may any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.


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