Chelmsford City Council

Test and Trace self-isolation payments

If NHS Test and Trace have told you to isolate, you may be eligible for a £500 payment if your employed, or self-employed earnings have reduced. You must meet all the criteria for either the main, or discretionary schemes.

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.

You are only eligible for one payment for each isolation period. You won't receive an additional payment if any of the isolation period dates overlap.

The address you have registered with NHS Test and Trace must fall within the Chelmsford City Council area. If the address you have registered with NHS Test and Trace is outside of our area, you must apply to that local council.


Eligibility for all schemes

The government sets the criteria for who can claim. 

You can check the rules to see  if you are eligible.


Eligibility for the main scheme

In addition to meeting all the eligibility conditions for all schemes, you (or the partner that you live with) must be receiving 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


Eligibility for the discretionary scheme

In addition to meeting all the eligibility conditions for all schemes, you must:

  • not be claiming a qualifying benefit
  • not have more than £6000 in savings, and
  • face hardship because you must isolate


Eligibility for a parent or guardian of a child who needs to isolate

If you meet the eligibility criteria for all schemes, you can apply for a payment if you need to take time off to look after a child/young person due to coronavirus.

Only one parent/guardian per household can apply.

What you need to provide

Everyone needs to provide one full month’s bank statement. 

The bank statement must: 

  • be for the account you want your payment to go into 
  • show all transactions up to the start date (or as close as possible) of your isolation period
  • clearly show the account holder's name, account number and sort code


We cannot accept Excel spreadsheets.

You also need to include your unique 8-digit NHS Test and Trace account ID 8-digit number on your application form.

Extra evidence if you are employed

If you are employed, you should also provide: 

  • 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 or guardian, you need to provide evidence of why your child is isolating. 

This evidence could be:

  • the child/young person’s eight-digit NHS Test and Trace ID number, given to you by NHS Test and Trace due to a positive test, or
  • a screenshot of the young person’s NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate, or
  • an image of the notification from a Local Public Health Team, confirming the requirement to isolate and that they cannot attend their education or childcare facility

If the young person is aged from 16 to 25 years, you also have to provide:

  • evidence that the young person has an Education, Health and Care plan (ECH) in place

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 42 days of the start date of your isolation period. If we don't receive all of the required evidence within the 42 days, we will refuse your application.

You must register with NHS Test and Trace, who will give you with an 8-digit ID number, sometimes known as a CTAS number.

You need this number to make an application for an isolation payment. 

If the number on your isolation payment application is wrong, or you have lost you number, we will contact the helpline to try and validate the correct NHS ID number. However, we will not be able to do this if your name, postcode and date of birth on your application form do not match NHS Test and Trace's records. 

You should make sure you check all the information on your isolation payment application is correct before submitting.

If you think some/all of the details you have registered with NHS Test and Trace are wrong, or you are having other issues regarding your NHS ID number, you can visit the COVID-19 app support page.

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.

We cannot create or provide you with a NHS ID number. Even if you have been issued with a NHS ID number (CTAS number), you will not be eligible for a payment unless you engage fully with NHS Test and Trace.

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

You should also have your evidence, as listed above.  

You can:

We are currently experiencing a significant increase in applications, which means we are now working on applications submitted about two weeks ago. To make sure there is no further delays to your application, you need to provide all the evidence we list on this page to support your application.  

We process all applications in the order we received them in and are not able to fast track an individual's application.

You will not be eligible for an isolation payment if you are arriving from:

If you are arriving from a non-red list country and are a fully vaccinated adult, you need to take a PCR test before the end of day two. If you test positive, you may be eligible for an isolation payment.  

If you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 and who is suspected or confirmed as having the Omicron variant, you may be eligible for an isolation payment. You must still meet all other eligibility criteria too. However, if their day two PCR test is negative, you will not be eligible.  

You can read our:

However, we are currently reviewing these policies, and will publish updated version in early 2022.

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Last updated: 13 January 2022

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