Skip to main content

Test and Trace Support Payment

The government has announced a new financial package to support those required by law to self isolate.

The new Test and Trace Support Payment is designed to help people on low income who cannot work from home and will lose income if required to self isolate.

Eligibility for the Test and Trace Support Payment

From 28 September 2020 you are entitled to a Test and Trace Support Payment of £500 if you:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

And

  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • are 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.

Discretionary Payment

You may be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the eligibility above, but:

  • you do not receive Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

And

  • you are in a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating

The payment is designed to support people on low incomes, if they will lose income as a result of self-isolating by encouraging them to get tested if they have symptoms.

This is important to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

The payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021. See more details on this announcement from the government here.

You will not be eligible for a Test and Trace Support Payment if:

  • you are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
  • you do not have a valid notification from NHS Test and Trace. The legal duty to self-isolate that comes into force on 28 September applies only to people who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Applying for the payment

Please apply for the payment using this online form:

Apply for Test and Trace Support Payment 

We are accepting applications now but please be aware we are waiting on further government guidance before we can begin processing.  

Contact us on 01234 718020 or email testandtracesupportpayments@bedford.gov.uk if you have any queries.

Receiving payment

If your bank account is overdrawn you are able to exercise your 'first right of appropriation'. This means you have the right to tell the bank how you want the £500 payment to be used so that they don't automatically use it to clear your overdraft.  The law provides that a customer needs a minimum amount of money to live on.

See Citizens Advice Bureau for further help to claim back any charges.

Further help if you are self isolating

Help is available if you need help with food shopping and prescriptions.

Or see our main COVID-19 information webpage