Residents on low incomes offered £500 Test and Trace Support Payment to self-isolate

Date published: 16 October 2020

A payment of £500 is available to residents on low incomes who are required to self-isolate.

The new Test and Trace Support Payment is available to people who are unable to work from home, would lose pay and are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace. The scheme is designed to ensure people isolate, encourage people to get tested and help stop the spread of the virus.

Anyone who tests positive for Covid-19 or has been identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace must self-isolate by law.

Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Anyone told by NHS Test and Trace to isolate is legally obliged to. This scheme supports residents on low incomes and as we have done throughout this pandemic our staff will be processing applications as fast as possible so we can get this vital support in the bank accounts of those who need it most right away. If you don’t meet the criteria, you may still be able to claim support through our discretionary scheme so do apply and we’ll do our best to help.”

To apply you must have been given an 8 digit number and been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because you tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who tested positive.

People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if you each meet the following criteria:

  • You have been told to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Trace service, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive on or after Monday 28 September 2020. You must also have an 8 digit number from NHS Test and Trace to be eligible - if you've only received a notification on the NHS Covid-19 App you're not eligible.
  • You're employed (including if you've been furloughed) or self-employed.
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.
  • You currently receive at least one of the following qualifying benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit.

If you're not in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits you may be able to receive a £500 discretionary payment if you meet all the other above criteria and both of the following criteria:

  • You're on a low income and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work.
  • You have to pay rent or a mortgage for the property you live in. 

To find out more and apply, plus find information on other financial support available during the pandemic visit:

If you’re unable to apply online or need help applying, phone 0300 303 8870.

In addition, the council’s early help teams can also support families with food clubs (discounted and free schemes for qualifying families) child development and health advice, mental health support, advice on healthy relationships, support with financial issues, support for children with disabilities, behavioural issues, bereavement, or if you’re worried about a child.

Find out more at or phone 0300 303 8801.

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