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Apply for a self-isolation support payment online

Test and trace support payments have been introduced for those on lower incomes who must self-isolate but can’t work from home and will lose income as a result.

These £500 payments are designed to help everyone comply with self-isolation rules and stop the spread of coronavirus. Anyone who does not self-isolate following a positive coronavirus test or after being told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace could face fines.

From 8 March 2021, the scheme was extended to allow parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate to apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is legally required to self-isolate.

On 16 August the government introduced new rules that give some people exemptions from self-isolating, anyone who is exempt from self-isolating will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment. Follow the link for full details of exemptions from self-isolation.

Who can apply for payments?

To qualify for a £500 test and trace payment you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have tested positive for COVID-19;

or

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, 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 your close contacts;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and
  • are currently receiving, or are the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of the following benefits:
  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

If you are not receiving one of these benefits but are facing financial difficulties because you have been asked to self-isolate, you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.

You can apply through the same application form

You will not be eligible for payment if you:

  • have not been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • will not have any loss of earnings due to self-isolating
  • delay making an application. You can make a claim up to 42 days after your first day of self-isolation
  • are quarantining after travelling abroad
  • are exempt from self-isolation.

How to apply?

You can apply for a test and trace support payment by filling in our online form. If you know someone who may qualify but is not online, they can call 02392 616708 for help with their application.

Please make sure you have the following information to hand before starting your application. Payments may be delayed if you do not provide details and evidence when submitting your application:

  • Your NI number
  • Your 8 digit test and trace ID number* or;
  • the 8 digit test and trace ID number of the child or young person you are the parent or   guardian of
  • Your most recent bank statement and bank account details
  • Proof of employment e.g. a wage slip or recent bank statement clearly showing proof of your earnings; or, proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement, most recent set of accounts, or evidence of self-assessment returns

If you’re a parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting (because they’re a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19) and they have not been allocated an 8 digit test and trace ID number, please provide at least one of the following:

  • a communication from the education or childcare setting confirming that they have to self-isolate.
  • 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 or 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.

*Please ensure you have responded to all messages received from NHS Test and Trace (which will have been received via a combination of email, text, letter or phone call). For example, NHS Test and Trace will require your contact details or if you have tested positive, the details of your contacts.

If you do not complete the Test and Trace journey and have not engaged with NHS Test and Trace, you will not meet the Department of Health and Social Care’s criteria for a Test and Trace Support payment.

If you have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app see our FAQ section for more information on how to apply for your test and trace ID number

You can apply for the payment here.

Please note, you may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action, as may any payment made in error.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I find further financial advice and support?

There is further financial advice and support available in the following places:

  • On the Portsmouth City Council website you can find out more about sick pay, help with council tax and food banks.
  • Advice Portsmouth offers free, confidential advice on bills, benefits, debt and employment call 023 9279 4340, text 07789 550593 or email advice.portsmouth@theyoutrust.org.uk.
  • Citizens Advice Portsmouth can help you check you’re receiving all the benefits you’re entitled to, call 0800 144 8 444 or use the online webchat. You can also use the free online benefits calculators at turn2us.org.uk
  • Portsmouth City Council tenants can get money advice through the housing office. If you are a housing association tenant, your housing officer may be able to help.
  • HIVE Portsmouth can connect you with the help you need – from support with food or school uniform, to mental health support or legal advice.
  • There is support available to students who are self-isolating through the University of Portsmouth.

You can read more about Test and Trace Support Payments on the government’s website.