Test and Trace support payments

Test and Trace support payment

Please read this information very carefully before making an application.

If you have received a notification to self-isolate from NHS Test and Trace on or after 28 September 2020 you may be eligible for a test and trace support payment of £500.

You can apply for a Test and Trace support payment if you can demonstrate that ALL six of the following criteria apply to you:

  1. I have received an NHS Test and Trace notification on or after Monday 28 September 2020 either because I have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  2. I have responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (by email, text, letter or phone call) in which I have provided my contact details and where I tested positive, and the details of my contacts.
  3. I am currently employed or self-employed.
  4. I am unable to work from home.
  5. I will lose income during the period that I am required to self-isolate.
  6. I am currently in receipt of Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Discretionary payments

If you meet criteria 1 to 5 but you do not meet criteria 6 you can be considered for a discretionary payment.

This is if you are on a low income and you pay rent or a mortgage for the property you live in.

You can use the same application form to apply for a discretionary payment.

Support from Salford City Council during coronavirus

Whether you’re eligible for this support payment or not, if you need help, you can call our Spirit of Salford helpline. It’s been set up to help residents on the different issues they may be facing at the moment.

Before you start your application

You will also be asked to give information about your employment or self-employment so we can check that you cannot work from home and that you will lose income because you are self-isolating.

At the end of the application form, you will be asked to upload documentary evidence to support your application.

Do not start your application until you have all your evidence ready as you cannot add it once it has been submitted.

You can upload PDF and Microsoft Word documents and photographs/images of documents.

Required evidence

This is the evidence you will need to have ready. Please note that we cannot consider your application without all of this:

  • Your notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique 8 digit ID number and must have been sent to you on or after Monday 28 September 2020). Please note this is different to the 12 digit reference number from the NHS to provide to employers.
  • Your most recent bank statement.
  • If you are employed - proof of your employment, for example your most recent pay slip.
  • If you are self-employed, evidence of your self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

Who is not eligible?

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate if you are furloughed
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Are no longer required to self-isolate i.e. your period of self-isolation ends before the Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme launches on 28 September 2020.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
  • You have not responded to messages received from NHS Test and Trace (by email, text, letter or phone call) in which you have been asked to provide your contact details, where you tested positive, and the details of your contacts.

Apply for the Test and Trace support payment

Some frequently asked questions

What are Test and Trace support payments?

The Government has set up the Test and Trace support payment scheme to help residents whose earnings are affected by staying at home and isolating for 14 days. Eligible residents can apply to their Local Authority for a one off Test and Trace support payment of £500.

What will happen if I don't self-isolate?

If you do not self-isolate, there is a fine of £1,000 for breaching self-isolation rules, but this could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and serious breaches, including if you prevent others from self-isolating (for example, if you own a business and threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not go to work).

Are applications from members of the same household allowed?

People who live in the same household can each make an individual application to receive a support payment if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I make more than one claim?

You can claim more than once if you are told to self-isolate multiple times. This is as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and your periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

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. 

Can I apply after my period of self-isolation has ended?

You can make an application claim up to 14 days after your period of self-isolation has ended if you meet the eligibility criteria.

Is a Test and Trace support payment taxable?

Yes, the support payment will be subject to income tax but will not be subject to National Insurance contributions. Tax will not be deducted from the payment itself. You will need to declare the payment to HMRC.

Can my bank take the payment to pay my overdraft?

You should contact your bank and ask to make a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’ to prevent the payment being used to pay your overdraft.

Can I get a payment if I have two jobs and I can only do one from home?

If you have two part-time jobs and are continued to be paid a full wage by one employer, but the other employer is not paying you whilst you are self-isolating then you can be eligible for a Test and Trace Support payment if you meet all the eligibility criteria.

Can I get a Test and Trace support payment if I am currently furloughed by my employer?


Can I claim a Test and Trace support payment if my child has been sent home from school and has received an 8 digit reference number from NHS test and trace?

No, the person allocated the 8 digit reference number by NHS Test and Trace must be the person that is working and meet all the other criteria to receive this payment.

Does the payment impact existing benefit entitlements?

No, the payment does not affect existing entitlements to:

  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing benefit

The payment will also be disregarded as income for the purposes of tax credits.

How long is the scheme open for?

The closing date for applications is 31 January 2021.

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