Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Test and Trace Support payment

If you are employed or self-employed on a low income and have to self-isolate at home, you may be entitled to a one-off Test and Trace Support payment.

January 2021 – we are currently getting a very high number of applications for support payments, which means we may not be able to respond immediately, but we are working through all applications in the order we receive them as quickly as we can.

Who is eligible to apply

You can apply to us for a Test and Trace Support payment from a national fund provided by the government if you:

  • live in the borough of Thurrock
  • have been told to self-isolate at home and have been given an 8-digit NHS Test and Trace ID, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result

You must also be receiving at least one of:

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

If you don't receive any of the listed benefits

If you don't receive any of the benefits listed above, we may still be able to offer you a discretionary payment from a limited local fund provided by the government.

You can apply a discretionary payment if, immediately prior to self-isolation, you:

  • were working
  • were in receipt of Local Council Tax Support
  • had less than £1,000 in capital (savings and investments)

You can also apply if, immediately prior to self-isolation, you:

  • were working at least 16 hours per week
  • earned a maximum gross income of £300 per week, or £200 per week if under 25 years-old

Discretionary payments will be made until the limited fund provided by the government runs out.

Amount of support you may receive

You may receive a one-off support payment of £500.

Payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

When you must self-isolate

By law, you must comply with any instruction to self-isolate from NHS Test and Trace.

From 28 September 2020, you may be fined if you don't stay at home and self-isolate when either:

  • you have had a positive test result for COVID-19
  • you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate because you are a contact of someone who has had a positive test result

If you test positive for COVID-19, it is an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

If you don't comply with these requirements, you could be fined up to £10,000.

When you can apply

This support scheme runs from 28 September 2020 until 31 January 2021. You can make a back-dated claim if you started self-isolating between these dates.

How to apply

To apply for a Test and Trace Support payment, complete the online form below.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support payment