Getting support when self isolating

Test and Trace support payment

If you have a low income and are unable to work from home, and you need to self-isolate, you may be eligible for financial support. This will be a £500 lump sum.

To be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, you must apply no later than 42 days from your isolation start date and:

  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;

  • be employed or self-employed;

  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating; and

  • 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.

Discretionary payments

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

  • do not currently receive one of the qualifying benefits and
  • you will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you are self-isolating.

Parents or guardians of a child who has been told to self-isolate.

If you are not legally required to self-isolate, but you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment. To be eligible you must:

• be the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self isolation period.

• be employed or self-employed.

• be unable to work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result.

• meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.

Your child or young person:

  • must be aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting

  • must have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Payment, tax and scheme dates

Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500. This will be payable as a lump sum and subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions. 

These changes will come into effect on 28 September 2020, alongside the legal duty to self-isolate. The scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

How to apply for the Test and Trace Support Payment

You will need to make an online application or call 020 8770 5000 and select the ‘Housing Benefits’ option. You’ll need to submit the following as supporting evidence:

  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number); 

  • a bank statement; and

  • proof of employment or, if self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that the business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.     

From Monday 23 February 2021, to validate your bank account details, we need to share relevant information you've given us with TransUnion. This will be used to ensure your support payment is paid to the correct bank account and to help prevent fraudulent use of support payments. This is not a credit check and won't impact your credit rating. For more information on how TransUnion may use your data, visit their website.


Submit your application here

Backdated payments

Anyone who meets the eligibility criteria and is asked to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020 will be entitled to the new payment. Payments will be backdated from 28 September 2020 but not before that date. 

Multiple claims 

A claim can be made for each period of self-isolation required. All eligibility criteria must be met and supporting evidence provided.

Other types of financial support

If you are not eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment, there may be other types of support that you can access. 

Council Tax

If you are concerned about paying your council tax, we can talk to you about your options. Read our online information about help with council tax and if you need to speak to someone, get in touch with us at:

General support and questions

If you need advice on issues such as welfare benefits, housing, employment and debt, Citizens Advice Sutton can help. The service is free, confidential, independent and impartial. Call them: 0208 405 3552, or use their webform to get in touch.

Universal Credit

You can find more information, provided by the Government here.

Self-isolation Service Hub

The Department for Health and Social Care has launched the Self-Isolation Service Hub (020 3743 6715). The phone line is open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm, allowing employers to provide contact details of those individuals who have been asked to self-isolate and are likely to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment. 

By providing these details, close contacts of positive cases will be formally advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and provided with an NHS Test and Trace Account ID. Individuals who have not been formally advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace will not receive an NHS Test and Trace Account ID and will not be able to claim from the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.