Posted on 20th November, 2020

Self-isolating? You might be eligible for £500 payment scheme.

£500 payment scheme for people who must self-isolate

Test and trace support payments are part of a new legal duty for people to self-isolate, which came into force on 28 September, and ensures that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worrying about their finances. Government has asked local authorities to administer the payments.

To be eligible for the £500 lump-sum test and trace support payment, you must meet the following criteria:

  • have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they’ve tested positive or are the close contact of a positive case; and
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and
  • are currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit

In addition to this you can also apply if you meet the first three of the above criteria and are waiting for a benefits decision, the outcome of a benefits appeal, or would normally have received universal credit or working tax credit but your previous months income assessment was higher than usual. This will be paid by our discretionary scheme.

You will need to provide the following

  • National Insurance number
  • a notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate (this will include a Unique ID number)
  •  a recent bank statement
  •  proof of employment, or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.

Please apply online at

The scheme started on 28 September 2020 and will run until 31 January 2021.

You will need to apply for the Test & Trace support payment within 14 days of being asked to self-isolate by the NHS.

Once your application has been verified, payments will be made directly into your bank account within three working days.

If you are unable to complete an online application form please call 0191 278 7878, ask for Crisis Support and select option 2.

Office opening hours are Monday to Friday 9.30am to 3.30pm (please note there is no out of hours service)

The scheme is set to be in place until 31 January 2021.

Advice and support

If you are self-isolating and need support or information, please visit our CityLife Line

More information can be found on the Council Covid-19

If you are on a low income and would like some information about the help and support available please visit Newcastle City Council Benefits

You can also get independent financial advice from:


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