Chelmsford City Council

Chelmsford, along with the rest of England, is now in lockdown until further notice. You can find out what this means and get other useful information on our coronavirus updates page.

Test and Trace self-isolation payments

If your income has been affected by coronavirus and you need help with your rent or paying your Council Tax, we want to provide you with some information to help you at this difficult and uncertain time. You can read more on our coronavirus updates page. You should also be aware of coronavirus scams. For more wide-ranging advice regarding your finances, you may find this Money Navigator Tool helpful.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to financial support. 

The isolation payment scheme has been extended to include those told to isolate from 10 December 2020 via version 4 of the NHS app. You can watch a video with some instructions on using the app.


You must make your application and send us all your supporting evidence within 28 days from the start date of your isolation period, as advised by NHS Test and Trace.

You will be entitled to a payment if:

  • NHS Test and Trace have told you to stay at home and self-isolate, because either you’ve tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and
  • you have replied to NHS Test and Trace's messages (by email, text, letter or phone call) in which you provided your contact details and where you’ve tested positive, and the details of your contacts, and
  • you are employed or self-employed
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating

In addition, you or your partner must currently be receiving at least one of the following:

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

If you meet all the criteria listed, we will pay you a one-off lump sum of £500.

Discretionary scheme

If you are not receiving any benefits, you may be eligible for our discretionary scheme if you or your partner have:

  • made a claim for one of the benefits listed above but have not yet received a decision, or
  • no recourse to public funds

We will assess your application for both the main and discretionary schemes. If you do not qualify for the main scheme, we will automatically consider you for the discretionary scheme. This is as long as you have provided all the supporting evidence, and we have been able to validate your NHS test and trace ID number. 


Everyone needs to provide one month’s bank statement, with an end date as close to the start of your isolation period as possible.

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

We are unable to resolve any issues regarding your NHS ID number (also known as your CTAS number), such as an incorrect postcode registered with test and trace. You must contact the NHS telephone helpline on 119 to resolve those issues.

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.   


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)


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.


How to supply evidence 

You can upload your evidence as part of your application.

If you are unable to supply some or all of your evidence with your initial application form, you can also access the separate evidence upload form.

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

You need to send your evidence within 14 days of the end of isolation period.

How to apply

Before starting the application, you should have your:

  • National Insurance number
  • 8-character test and trace ID number
  • 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

You should also have your evidence, as listed above.  

Apply for self-isolation payment

Further information

You can read our:


How to find your test and trace ID number

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.

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    Last updated: 18 January 2021

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