COVID-19: Financial support during self-isolation

Claiming Self-Isolation Payments

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to financial support during this period of up to £500.

The legal duty to self-isolate came into effect on Monday 28 September 2020. From this date, the Government has said councils must provide support payments to those who are eligible and are now available.

You will need to provide the details below to make a claim, this includes your Test and Trace Covid-19 reference number. To claim you must complete the application form.

For more information you can email or call 020 7361 4326, making it clear it is about coronavirus self-isolation payments.

What are Self-Isolation Payments?

It is a one-off support payment of £500 to help people working on low incomes to self-isolate if they have been advised to do so by NHS Test and Trace and will lose income as a result.  

Who is eligible?

Residents who have received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate will be entitled to a payment if they self-isolate and are employed or self-employed and cannot work from home and will lose income as a result. You will also need to in receipt of one of the following benefits:

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

Finally, to be entitled to a payment you will need to have taken a confirmatory PCR test or an assisted Lateral Flow Test (LFT).

Important changes to Test and Trace Support Payments from 16 August 2021

From August 16, if you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days, or are under 18, you no longer have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive with COVID-19.

You now only need to self-isolate if you develop symptoms or test positive for the virus. You will instead be advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible and will need to self-isolate if you test positive.

This means if you are identified as a contact and either fully vaccinated within 14 days or under 18 you are no longer eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

All adults who test positive are still required to self-isolate and remain eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Parents and Guardians

From Monday 8 March 2021 if you meet the above criteria and are the parent or guardian of a child aged 15 or under, (or aged 25 or under with additional support requirements) who is in education or childcare, and has been advised to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education, or child care setting, you can also apply.

Please email or call 020 7361 4326 if you are a parent or guardian and want to claim.

You may also be entitled to a payment from our discretionary scheme even if you are not in receipt of a DWP benefit, if you or your child has been asked to self-isolate, you are working, but cannot work from home.

Omicron variant update

From Tuesday 30 November 2021, all close contacts of a suspected case of the Omicron variant will be required to self-isolate, regardless their age or vaccination status.

This means you may be eligible for self-isolation payment if you are: 

  • fully vaccinated and are identified as a suspected or confirmed contact of someone with the Omicron variant
  • taking part in workplace daily contact testing schemes and are identified as a suspected or confirmed contact of someone with the Omicron variant
  • a parent or guardian of a child who is a contact of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant

The following groups of people remain ineligible for self-isolation payment as they are required to quarantine on entry to the UK (and therefore cannot work): 

  • international arrivals from a red list country
  • international arrivals from a non-red list country who are not fully vaccinated and are over 18

Discretionary Payment Scheme

We may be able to make a discretionary payment of £500 if you are not receiving a qualifying benefit, but you are in financial hardship and you:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace because you've tested positive or because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • Are in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Sick Pay or State Retirement Pension
  • Have been refused entitlement to one of the qualifying benefits but have appealed
  • Are employed or self-employed
  • Cannot work from home and you will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • Are on a low income – (less than £296 per week gross) with or without recourse to public funds

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 self-isolation

What information do I need to provide?

Before you start you will need the following information to complete this form:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must show proof of earnings);
  • Proof of self-employment e.g. recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts, or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of your NHS Account ID for coronavirus (this may take three to four days to be sent to you by NHS Test and Trace).
  • Your National Insurance Number.

What am I required to do?

If you receive a payment you must self-isolate. 

Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements which particularly relates to those who:

  • Test positive
  • People who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

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. You cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else.

Make a claim

Start your application

Data Sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by the Council. We need your consent so that we can access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you are eligible for the Self-Isolation Payment Scheme.

You can find more information on the data sharing via the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice.

We will carry out checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax and national insurance purposes, and with your employer. 

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because Self-Isolation Payments are subject to Tax and National Insurance Contributions. If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

We will not share your data with other organisations or individuals outside the Council for any other purpose.

We may use some automated decision-making to determine if you are eligible to access funds. This means that a decision may be made by automated means, without any human involvement. 

Your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 allow you to object to any automated decision-making used in this process. If you do, there may be a significant delay in the processing of your application.

We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent. All information is processed following the Council’s data protection policy.

If you do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to continue payments to you. Your consent is necessary to establish your eligibility and to authorise any payments made.

In applying you must confirm that you have read, understood, and consented to your data being processed in this way to assess your eligibility for a Self-Isolation Payment.

Last updated: 17 January 2022