Chelmsford City Council

Test and Trace self-isolation payments

You may be entitled to financial help if your income has been affected because:

  • you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate
  • your child has been told to self-isolate and you have to care for them

If you have returned to the UK after being abroad and have tested positive during quarantine, you can apply for a self-isolation payment.

You must have taken the test no earlier than the fifth day of your quarantine period.

This scheme runs until 30 September 2021. We will accept applications if your period of isolation starts on or before 30 September 2021. 

Eligibility for both schemes

There are two schemes that you may be eligible for. You only need to apply once, and we will assess your application for both schemes.

You must make your application and send us all your supporting evidence within 42 days from the start date of your isolation period. (NHS Test and Trace will give you your start date.)

If you make a valid claim that meets all the eligibility criteria, you will get a one-off payment of £500.

To be eligible for either scheme, you must be:

  • employed or self-employed
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result

You must also:

  • 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)
  • give us an NHS test and trace ID number (CTAS number) that we can validate
  • reply to messages from NHS Test and Trace (via email, text, letter, or phone call), and fully engage with the process, 

  • be the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to isolate, and you have to take time off work to care for them, on or after 8 March 2021

Eligibility for the main scheme

In addition to the above criteria, you must also be receiving at least one of the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

You can apply more than once, if you have to isolate multiple times. This is as long as you meet all the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and the isolation periods do not overlap. Everyone has to make their own application.


Eligibility for the discretionary scheme

If you are not receiving any benefits, (or have not made a claim for them) you will not qualify for the main scheme. However, we will then see if you are eligible for our discretionary scheme.

Eligibility for a parent whose child is isolating

You must be the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off while they self-isolate.

This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for child or young person’s isolation period.

Your child or young person must:

  • be under 15, or under 25 with an Education Health and Care Plan (ECH)
  • normally attend an education or childcare setting
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or by their educational or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive on, or after 8 March 2021

You can claim up to six weeks (42 days) after the child or young person's first day of self-isolation.

You can claim more than once for the same child, or different children, but only if the isolation periods do not overlap.


What you need to provide

Everyone needs to provide one month’s bank statement. The end date must be as close to the start of your isolation period as possible.

We need to be able to verify the bank account is yours. This means the statement must show the account holders name, account number and list all transactions.

You also need to include the correct NHS ID code in your application. 

Extra evidence if you are employed

If you are employed, you should also provide: 

  • confirmation from your employer that your earnings will reduce during your isolation period (contract/email/letter from employer confirming this)
  • proof of your earnings immediately prior to the start of your isolation period (such as most recent wages slips or employment contract)


Extra evidence if you are self-employed

If you are self-employed, you must provide proof of your self-employed earnings received for the two months immediately prior to the date you are told to isolate.   

Acceptable proof would be:

  • accounts
  • payslips received if a sub-contractor
  • trading statements for the two month period.

We will decide whether you can work from home or not based on the information you provide on your application form.


Extra evidence if you are the parent of a self-isolating child or young person

If you are applying as a parent, you should also provide:

  • the child’s eight digit NHS test and trace ID number, or
  • a communication from the child/young person’s education or childcare setting, confirming they must self-isolate because they have been identified as a close contact or someone who has tested positive, or
  • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID- 19 App notification telling them to self-isolation and evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (ECH)

How to supply evidence 

We recommend that you upload your evidence when filling out the initial application form.

However, you can also upload your evidence separately afterwards. You should only do this if you can't supply some or all of your evidence with your initial application. 

You should not submit evidence without making an application first, as this will delay the process.

We will also send you a link to the evidence form in your acknowledgement email. 

You need to send your evidence within 28 days of the start date of your isolation period, or 42 days if you are applying as a parent.

First, you need to register with NHS Test and Trace. You will then receive an NHS Test and Trace Account ID.

This is an 8-digit code that is sometimes also referred to as a CTAS number. If you test positive for coronavirus, or are told to self-isolate by contact tracers, they will give you the Account ID, which you need to give to us.

We are cannot provide you with your 8 digit NHS ID number, or resolve any issues regarding it. 

If you have any issues with your NHS ID number, or have not been provided with one, you need to visit the Covid app support page to find out what you can do. 

You must give us a valid NHS ID number to apply for an isolation payment (unless you are a parent/carer of a child/young person who has been told to isolate). Otherwise, we will not be able to process your application.

The address and corresponding details you register with NHS Test and Trace must be for the address you are isolating at, even if this is not your main residence. You must submit the same details on the isolation payment application.

Before starting the application, you should have your:

  • National Insurance number
  • 8-character test and trace ID number (if you have been told to isolate or a young person you care for has been told to isolate by NHS test and trace)
  • full name, address, postcode and date of birth, which must match the information held by NHS Test and Trace
  • start and end dates of your isolation period, as provided to you by NHS Test and Trace, or the education or childcare setting
  • full details of your child or young person's educational or childcare setting, if applicable

You should also have your evidence, as listed above.  

You can:


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Last updated: 19 July 2021

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