Test and Trace Support Payment

The £500 Test and Trace Support Payment is an initiative introduced by the Government to try and help those that have to self-isolate and will lose income as a result. This also extends to those caring for a child that has to self-isolate.

You might be able to get a payment of £500 if you’re on a low income and meet all these conditions:

  • You’re employed or self-employed
  • You, or a child you’re the parent or guardian of, has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or been told you or the child are a close contact by NHS Test and Trace
  • You cannot work from home and will lose income by self-isolating or staying at home to care for the child
  • You’re not exempt from self-isolating

Please be aware that you need to claim within 42 days of you or the child’s first day of self-isolation.

Tax Implications

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment.

You must report the payment on your Self Assessment tax return if you need to file one, for example if you’re self-employed.

If you’re usually working and get benefits

You or the partner you live with must get one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

You must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a NHS Test and Trace account ID.

If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who needs to self-isolate

You might be able to get the payment if they have tested positive for COVID-19 and you need to take time off to look after them. They must:

  • Be 15 or under, or 25 or under if they have an Education, Health and Care plan (EHC)
  • Live with you
  • Normally be at school or in childcare
  • Have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Please be aware that other eligibility criteria must be met. You will also need evidence that your child has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

You might also be able to apply if your child has not tested positive for COVID-19 and all of the following are true:

  • Your child is 25 or under and has an EHC plan
  • They have been told they’re a close contact by NHS Test and Trace
  • They are not exempt from self-isolating

If you’re usually working and do not get benefits

You can apply for the payment if you meet all of the following conditions:

  • You’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or been told you’re a close contact by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
  • You’re not exempt from self-isolating
  • You’ll lose income because you cannot work from home

You can be either employed or self-employed.

Your council website will tell you what counts as low income, and whether you’re eligible.

You must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a NHS Test and Trace account ID.

Apply through your council

Search for your local council to apply on their website. They’ll tell you what evidence you need to apply, but you might need:

  • A payslip if you’re employed, or evidence of your Self Assessment tax returns if you’re self-employed
  • A bank statement
  • Your NHS Test and Trace account ID, or evidence your child has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

More information regarding the payment can be found on HMRC’s website here.