NHS Test and Trace Support Payment

Qualifying Harrow residents can claim a one-off payment if required to self-isolate because of Covid. In most cases the amount payable is £500.

This scheme is primarily designed to support residents on low incomes who are unable to work while self-isolating, but a payment can also be made under other circumstances.

In all cases, applicants must earn less than £30,000 a year and have savings of less than £16,000.

You must have had a PCR test to be considered for a Test and Trace Support Payment.

When to self-isolate

You should self-isolate straight away if:

  • You’ve tested positive for Covid-19
  • You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive

You may need to quarantine when you arrive in England from abroad, but you cannot claim a Test and Trace Support Payment during this time.

You do not need to self-isolate if:

You have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and one of the following applies.  If the person tested positive for the Omicron variant of Covid-19 then you must self-isolate irrespective of the following:

  • You’re fully vaccinated
  • You’re under 18 years, 6 months old

All close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to confirm their condition.

Apply for a Test and Trace Support Payment

You must submit your application within 42 days from the first day of self-isolation. 

Apply for a support payment

For information on how we will process your data please see the Privacy notice for the Test and Trace Payments.

Whatever your circumstances, if you are on a low income you are likely to qualify for a support payment. This payment can also be made to people without recourse to public funds.

Due to the high number of applications received, please allow up to 20 working days from when the last piece of supporting information was submitted for a decision to be made.

On a low income and unable to work while self-isolating

You will qualify for a payment of £500 if you’re unable to work while self-isolating and

  • Are in receipt of one of these benefits - Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, Income-based Employment and Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit or Pension Credit
  • Or, earn less than £30,000 per year and have less than £16,000 in savings. This criteria applies to both people in paid employment and the self-employed.

Self-isolating and unemployed

A payment of £500 can be made if you’re required to self-isolate, are unemployed and have income of less than £30,000 per year and have less than £16,000 in savings.

Payments to unemployed people are offered as an incentive to ensure self-isolation is observed.

Caring for a child that is self-isolating

If you have to stay at home to care for a child who is required to self-isolate, you will qualify for a payment of £500 if your income is less than £30,000 and have savings of less than £16,000. This will apply whether you are employed, self-employed or unemployed.

You will qualify for the payment even if you are able to continue working while at home. Your child will receive a book token for £25.

The circumstances of your partner will not be assessed.

Evidence required

As part of your application you may be asked to submit evidence showing the benefits you receive, your income or savings.

You will also have to supply your NHS Test and Trace ID number. It is important that you follow all of the instructions given to you by NHS Test and Trace to ensure you receive this ID number.

If you test positive using a rapid lateral flow test, you should book a follow up PCR test – you will only receive the evidence from NHS Test and Trace you need to claim if this test is also positive.

Further information about the evidence you will need to submit can be found on the application form.


Payments are for £500.

Your payment may be subject to income tax. For more information on how the payment might affect the tax you pay, Statutory Sick Pay or benefits you currently receive, see Test and Trace Payment Advice.

All payments are made directly to a bank account in the name of the applicant.  If that account is overdrawn, you may wish to contact the bank to discuss ‘first right of appropriation’.

This means that you may be able to access this money even if you are overdrawn.  You should advise the council that you are going to do this before the payment is issued.