Self isolation support payments

If you are on a low income and have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate - either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

From 28 September, benefits claimants who need to self-isolate but are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result are eligible for a lump sum payment of £500.  These payments will be managed on behalf of Government by local councils. There is also discretionary support available for working people who are not on benefits.

From 1 April 2021, you can make a claim up to 42 days from the start date of self-isolation.

Who can claim?

Your usual address must be in Crawley.

You must have a notification from the NHS Test and Trace service asking you to self-isolate. 

You must be in-work (not furloughed) and unable to work from home.

You must receive at least one of these benefits (you may qualify for the discretionary scheme if you don't): 

  • universal credit
  • working tax credit
  • income-based employment support allowance
  • income-based jobseekers allowance
  • income support
  • housing benefit
  • pension credit 

What you will need when you apply

  • The unique ID number from your NHS Test and Trace notification
  • If you are employed, the name and email address of your employer so they can confirm that you are unable to work from home
  • If you are self-employed, you will need a recent business bank statement, business accounts or evidence of self-assessment tax returns and evidence your business cannot be done without social contact
  • Your bank details and a recent bank statement
  • Your National Insurance number

Isolating as a result of notification by the app

If the NHS COVID-19 app has told you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to follow some additional steps to request your NHS Test and Trace Account ID.

Self-isolating away from your normal home

If you have given an address to the contact tracing service that is not your normal home, you will need to apply for a payment in the local authority area in which you are self-isolating. Not your normal home address. The test and trace number is postcode sensitive and the eligibility checker will come back as not verified if the address that you are isolating is outside of the Crawley area.

If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate

If you're the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate and you do not legally need to self-isolate, you could be eligible for a £500 Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment. You can apply if you meet all the following requirements:

  • Your child who needs to self-isolate lives with you and you need to take time off work to care for them
  • Your child is 15 or under, or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan. They must normally attend an education or childcare setting, and have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting
  • You’re unable to work from home and will lose income because you have to care for your child while they are self-isolating
  • You meet all the other eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or discretionary payment

How to apply

Make sure you have the information ready, then apply using the Grant Approval online form.

Other information

  • Even if you make a joint claim for universal credit, you claim the support payment as an individual, so if you and your partner BOTH need to self-isolate, you can each make separate claims for the £500 payment
  • If you are told to self-isolate again, you can claim another payment, as long as you meet the criteria
  • The payment won't affect your benefits. It will be "disregarded" for benefits purposes, but you will still need to log it as a payment in your online journal
  • The payments are subject to income tax, but not national insurance contributions 
  • Anyone who qualifies for this payment will receive it on top of any statutory sick pay they are entitled to  
  • We aim to make payments within 3 working days of application if you are eligible