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What is the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme?

The Government announced a new support payment for people facing financial difficulty if they've been instructed to self-isolate on or after 28 September 2020.

If you've been contacted by the NHS and asked to self-isolate, either because you've tested positive for coronavirus COVID-19 or you've been in contact with someone who's tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial help during your self-isolation period.

Please see for the latest information.

Who's eligible for this scheme?

To be eligible for a support payment of £500 you must:

  • live in the Mid Devon area, and;
  • have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or identified as a close contact by the NHS Covid-19 App from 10 December 2020 and have received an 8 digit account ID from NHS Test and Trace by email or text, either because you've tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or:
  • be the parent or guardian of a child or young person aged 15 or under (or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan) living in the same household as the child who attends an education or childcare setting, who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting on or after 8 March 2021, and;
  • be employed or self-employed, and;
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result, and;
  • be aged 16 or over, and;
  • be currently receiving, or be the partner of someone in the same household who is receiving, Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

If you're not receiving one of these benefits or you're on a low income and unable to support yourself financially during your self-isolation period, you may still be entitled to help under our discretionary scheme.

Who's not eligible?

You won't be eligible for payment if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14 day quarantine period)
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace or the NHS Covid-19 app, telling you to self-isolate or your child has not been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or their education or childcare setting
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • You or your child’s self-isolation started more than 42 days (six weeks) ago

How do I apply?

To apply for a support payment, you'll need to complete an application form and provide evidence to confirm your eligibility. Applications cannot be accepted without a valid Test and Trace ID reference number or in the case of parents and guardians, evidence that your child has been instructed to self-isolate.

If you have been instructed to self-isolate by the Covid-19 app you will need to follow steps to obtain you reference number. There are step-by-step instructions you can follow here.

Applications will be accepted up to 42 days after the start of your self-isolation period.

Can I get any help to complete an application?

You're allowed to have someone you know to help you complete the form or complete it on your behalf.

If you don’t have anyone who can help, an appointment can be made with one of our officers to complete the form with you over the phone. This will take longer than if you complete your own application online, which, if you're eligible, will delay any payment made. Please call us via 01884 255255 or email to arrange a telephone appointment.

What happens next?

Once you've submitted your completed application and supporting evidence, we'll carry out the necessary checks to confirm you're eligible for a payment. If we're able to confirm you're entitled, we'll contact you to confirm when you'll receive your payment.

Please note, we can only make payments into the applicant’s bank account and not one belonging to anyone else.

Payments are subject to Tax, but exempt from any National Insurance contribution. You won't be taxed at the point of payment, but you will be contacted by HMRC at a later date.

If I receive a support payment, what am I required to do?

You must agree to self-isolate in line with the instructions from NHS Test and Trace. If you are a parent or guardian with a child or young person who has been instructed to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who’s tested positive then you must ensure that they self-isolate.

The NHS Test and Trace website has more information about self-isolation requirements for anyone:

  • testing positive, or;
  • anyone who's been in contact with someone who's tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Practical support to help you self-isolate

You may need help with everyday tasks to help you self-isolate, from simple things like getting groceries or collecting medicines, to finding support for your mental wellbeing.

NHS Volunteer Responders can help with things like:

  • collecting shopping
  • collecting medicines and prescriptions
  • phone calls if you want to chat to someone

Call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm, everyday) to arrange help from a volunteer.

There are also a number of community groups who can help you with shopping, dog-walking, prescription collections and much more. See what might be available near you: Directory of Community Support Groups

Emergency funds may be available if you do not have enough money for food or other household essentials. See the Local Support Fund webpage for details.

If you are finding it difficult getting the help you need, you can request support directly through our online form or email


You may face prosecution if you've manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace and which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to recovery action. This may include any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Please note, if you are applying because your child has been instructed to self-isolate we will contact their school or childcare setting to verify this information.

Data sharing

Please refer our privacy notice for information on how we collect and process your data.


This table shows the current statistics on the Test and Trace applications we've received. This information is current as at 2 July 2021.

How the applications have been dealt with

Number of applications

Total applications received


Main Scheme


Discretionary Scheme


Total applications paid

133 = £66,500

Main Scheme

66 = £33,000

Discretionary Scheme

67 = £33,500

Total application rejected


Main Scheme


Discretionary Scheme


Applications waiting assessment


Main Scheme


Discretionary Scheme



Test and Trace Support Payment Scheme Privacy Notice

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