Self-isolation support payment

UPDATE: The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme in England has now closed. 

If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to stay at home and self-isolate, you may be entitled to a one-off support payment of £500.

If you're on a low income this could help you to self-isolate without having to worry about your finances.

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on your payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you’re self-employed, you must report the payment on your self assessment tax return.

Who can apply for the support payment

To apply for this payment, you must live in Woking Borough and meet all six of the following criteria.

  1. You have tested positive for Coronavirus, are a close contact of a positive Coronavirus case and are not fully vaccinated or you are the parent of a child under the age of 15, or under 25 with and education, health and care (EHC) plan, who has tested positive and you are unable to work due to looking after the child.
  2. If you have tested positive on a lateral flow test which you have self-administered at home, you will not be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment unless you take a follow-up PCR test and the result is positive.
  3. You are employed or self-employed.
  4. You cannot work from home.
  5. You will lose income if you have to self-isolate.
  6. You are claiming at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Pension Credit
    • Housing Benefit

If you are eligible you can make a claim up to 42 days after your first day of isolation.

If you’re working and do not get benefits you can apply for a discretionary test and trace support payment.

You must meet all of the following conditions:

  • you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or been told you’re a close contact by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app
  • you’re not exempt from isolation
  • you’ll lose income of at least £160 per week because you cannot work from home
  • you can be either employed or self-employed
  • you must have given NHS Test and Trace the information they’ve asked for, and have a NHS Test and Trace account ID
  • you have savings of less than £6,000
  • you have regular essential outgoings such as rent, Council Tax and utility bills.

Who cannot apply for the support payment

You cannot apply for the payment if:

  • You are quarantining after travelling abroad, unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.
  • You receive your full wage while you self-isolate.
  • You can work from home whilst you self-isolate.
  • You are no longer required to self-isolate.
  • You have not received a notification from the NHS Test and Trace service telling you to self-isolate.
  • You were told to self-isolate before 28 September, even if the self-isolation continues after 28 September.

Frequently asked questions about the support payment

Can members of the same household apply for the payment?

People in the same household can make individual applications to receive the payment if they each meet the eligibility criteria.

Can I apply on behalf of someone else?

You can help someone else fill out an application, or you can fill out an application on their behalf.

Payment will only be made into a bank account in the name of the person for whom the application is being made.

What do I do if my bank account is overdrawn?

If you are eligible for the £500 support payment, you can tell your bank that the payment you receive should only be used to pay certain items. For example utility bills, rent or mortgage, and that it is not to be used to repay your overdraft. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.

As soon as your payment has been approved, write to your bank making it clear what you want your support payment to be used for.

Fraudulent claims

We will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate and put others at risk. Anyone caught falsifying their application to gain payment will face prosecution and any funding issued will be recovered.