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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus updates for the public and businesses.

Coronavirus information and advice

Test and Trace support payment

From 28 September, if you receive a positive Covid-19 test result or are told by the NHS to self-isolate because of close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you may be eligible for a £500 lump sum payment.

The Government has announced the new Test and Trace support payment for people on a low income who must self-isolate for 14 days and cannot work from home during this period.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for the new Test and Trace Support Payment, 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
  • be employed or self-employed
  • and be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • and must 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

Individuals who qualify and who meet the criteria will be entitled to a £500 lump sum payable into their bank account. These payments will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions.

The payments will only be eligible for positive diagnosis from 28 September onwards until the scheme ends on 31 January 2021. Eligible people will be able to claim for each period of self-isolation. 

To apply, you must provide:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number)
  • a bank statement (showing the account details where the payment will be made)   
  • proof of employment, 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

How to apply

Make your application online:

Apply for a test and trace support payment

If you require assistance with completing this form, please contact our Benefits team on 01926 456760 (Monday - Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Backdating payment

In the interim, from 28 September If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate and you fit into the above eligibility test you will qualify for a backdated payment. 

Safeguarding Test and Trace support payment

Banks are not allowed to use the test and trace support payment to reduce authorised or unauthorised overdrafts. In order to protect the payment from being used in this way, using what is known as 'first right of appropriation', you must contact your bank with a new instruction. For further guidance on this and to see a sample letter of appropriation letter to your bank please see our guidance on right of appropriation.

More information regarding the scheme is available on the GOV.UK website.