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Following a steep rise in cases across the region, the whole of the North East has been named as an area that will receive additional support. You can read the latest statement from LA7 leaders. There are no additional restrictions on the area or residents but with cases of Covid higher than ever before everyone is asked to continue to act carefully and responsibly. Further information will be provided as it becomes available. See Covid-19 advice and information for advice on how to stay safe. Thank you for playing your part in helping to keep the North East open and protect others.

Apply for a test and trace support payment


If you have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate either because you have tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19 or you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and you meet the eligibility criteria you may be entitled to a £500 support payment. This is to support people on low incomes who are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

If your child/young person has to self-isolate because they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 (but have not tested positive themselves), you can apply for a test and trace support payment if you need to take time off work to care for them. You will need to make a claim using the account reference given to your child/young person by NHS Test and Trace.

If your child has tested positive for Covid-19, you will be legally required to self-isolate. Once you are told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, you will be given your own account reference number. You will need to use this reference number to apply for a test and trace support payment. You cannot apply for a test and trace support payment under the parent and guardian scheme.

For further information, see Gov.uk: New package to support and enforce self-isolation 

Please note that there are extremely high numbers of test and trace support payment applications which have resulted in longer processing times.

Who can claim

To claim this payment, you must:

  1. have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for Coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive; or
  2. are a parent or guardian who needs to take time off work to care for a child aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) of the same household, who has 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 coronavirus; and
  3. where relevant, you have fully engaged with NHS Test and Trace; and
  4. be employed or self-employed; and
  5. be unable to carry out your work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  6. be currently receiving one or more of the following benefits - Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-related Employment Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

You cannot claim if you are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the quarantine period).

Discretionary Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme

If you do not receive any of the above benefits, but meet the rest of the above criteria, you may still be eligible for a discretionary test and trace support payment if:

  • your normal annual gross earnings (before deductions) are less than £27,971 per year; and

  • you have less than £6000 savings

You will need to supply us with supporting evidence and documents when you apply.

How to apply

You will need to provide the following information:

  • your eight character NHS Test and Trace reference; or
  • the eight character NHS Test and Trace reference of the young person you are the parent or guardian of
  • a copy of the NHS Test and Trace notification you received (showing the date you received the notification and the Test and Trace ID)
  • your National Insurance number
  • a copy of your latest bank statement (issued in the last two months and showing proof of earnings) and proof of self-employment (such as a business bank statement issued in the last two months, most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns)

If you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting (because they are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19) and they have not been allocated an eight character Test and Trace reference, please provide at least one of the following:

  • a copy of the letter received from the education or childcare setting confirming that the child or young person has to self-isolate
  • for parents or guardians of young people aged 16-25 who have additional support needs, provide a screenshot of the young person's NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care Plan

If you need support to complete your application or need help with other things like getting food, please visit Get help if you're self-isolating or contact us at Customer Services.

How much is the payment

If you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, and meet the criteria listed, you will be entitled to a £500 support payment.

Will payments be taxed

Test and trace support payments will be subject to income tax, but not National Insurance contributions.

Contact us
Customer Services
03000 26 0000
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