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Coronavirus (COVID-19)
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£500 self-isolation payment

If you have lost income because you have been required to self isolate, you may be eligible for a payment of £500 through the Test and Trace Support payment scheme. The government has made this available to some people who are on a low income and have had to self-isolate on or after Monday 28 September 2020.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021. Each person in your household who meets the eligible criteria can apply for a self-isolation payment. You can also apply more than once, if you have to self-isolate more than one time. The payment is taxable but not subject to National Insurance.

Who can apply

To be eligible you must:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has. A notification from the Test and Trace app is not adequate at present. You must have had either a text or email sent to you by NHS Test and Trace containing an 8 digit unique identifier either inviting you to create an account if you test positive, reminding you to do this, or giving advice on self-isolation and
  • be employed or self-employed, and
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of the self-isolation

You also need to be currently receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

If you meet the other criteria but do not receive one of these benefits, you can still apply for a Discretionary payment. Funding for this is very limited so applications will be considered only in exceptional circumstances. We will consider things like your household income and expenditure, your savings, whether you have previously been impacted financially because of covd-19, whether your home is at risk or you are at risk of legal action for default on debts, and any other special circumstances.

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
  • can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • were notified to self-isolate before the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme launched on 28 September 2020
  • have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate
  • are receiving a lower wage because you are furloughed
  • are self-isolating because you have returned to the UK from abroad (unless you have been told to do so by Test and Trace or have tested positive)

How the payment will be made

You will receive payment by bank transfer into your account. For this reason it is very important the bank statements you supply with your application are up to date.

If you are overdrawn, you will need to write to your bank immediately and ask for a first right of appropriation of funds order referring to a self-isolation payment of £500. This means that if you are successful, the bank cannot use the payment towards paying off your overdraft.


You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be recoverable from you, as may any grants that have been paid in error. Anyone identified as failing to self-isolate will be reported to the police. 

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