Test and trace parent or guardian support scheme

From 8 March 2021 you can claim if you are a parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to look after them.

Read about the package to support and enforce self-isolation on GOV.UK.

Who is eligible?

In order to be eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment you must:

  • be a parent or guardian of a child that has been told to self-isolate by either NHS Test and Trace or by the child's educational setting on or after 16 August 2021 and;
  • your child or young person is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends and education or childcare setting and;
  • needs to stay at home to look after any child or certain young person (child must be aged 15 or under, and young person aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC), and normally attends an education or childcare setting) and has;
    • tested positive for Covid 19 or;
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID 19 by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID 19 app, is aged 18-25 and is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC plan.
  • make a claim within 6 weeks of the child or young person's first day of self-isolation and;
  • be employed or self-employed and;
  • be unable to work from home and will income as a result and;
  • be receiving one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-Based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-Based Jobseekers Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

Anyone that meets the eligibility criteria will be able to claim.

Discretionary payments

There are discretionary payments for those who do not meet the criteria for the Parent and Guardian Scheme.

If you are not receiving one of the qualifying benefits, but are on a low income and self-isolation of yourself or a child or young person will cause you hardship, or you do not currently have Recourse to Public Funds, you may still be entitled under a special discretionary scheme.

From 16 August 2021, you must meet all of the eligibility criteria to be considered:

  • you live in our district and;
  • you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self-isolate either by NHS Test and Trace or your child's education or care setting and;
  • you are employed or self-employed and;
  • you are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result and;
  • are NOT currently receiving any 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;
  • you must be liable for Council Tax in our area and;
  • you must have less than £3000 total capital and;
  • you earn less than £500 per week before any deductions.

Who is not eligible for any Test and Trace support payment?

You will not be eligible if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period).
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate.
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation.
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate.
  • People under 18 are no longer required to self-isolate if identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace.

How much is the payment and will it be taxed?

You may be supported by a lump sum payment of £500. This payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.

How long will this be in place for?

The scheme will run until 31 March 2022.

Other support is also available.

See council tax, benefits and financial support.

How do I apply?

Before you apply

You will need the following information to complete the form:

  • A copy of your latest bank statement (one issued within the last two months which must clearly show name, address and account details);
  • Proof of employment, or self-employment, for example: your most recent pay slip, a recent business bank statement (within the last two months), most recent set of accounts or evidence of self-assessment returns;
  • Proof of the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.
  • Your National Insurance Number.
  • Your child’s name and date of birth.
  • Your child’s main address.
  • The first day of your child’s self-isolation period.
  • Name of child’s school/childcare.
  • address of child’s school/childcare
  • Contact details of child’s school/childcare.
  • Evidence from school/childcare that child has to self-isolate.

Apply for a test and trace Support Payment (child isolating) online

Applications for support must be made within 42 days from the first day that your child/young person had to self-isolate and the scheme is available until 31 March 2022.


You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any awards paid in error.

What happens next?

The government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

We will review your application and carry out the necessary checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification purposes, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), for tax purposes, and NHS Test and Trace to confirm your self-isolation status.

If we are able to verify your entitlement, we will contact you to confirm when you will receive your payment.

What are the penalties for not self-isolating?

As well as new support measures, from 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate

As well as new support measures, from 28 September, you could also be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19,or if 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.

From this date, if you test positive for COVID-19, it will also be an offence to knowingly provide false information about your close contacts to NHS Test and Trace.

Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a fine of up to £10,000.

View our Self-Isolation Payment Privacy Notice.

Last updated: Monday, 20 September, 2021.