Mother and child

Parents eligible for £500 Test and Trace support payments if children are self-isolating

Test and Trace support payments extended to parents of self-isolating children

The Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, which provides a £500 payment to those on certain benefits or low incomes who are required to self-isolate, has been extended to the parents and carers of children who cannot work because their child or children are required to self-isolate.

This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child's self-isolation period, and parents must meet all the relevant means-tested eligibility criteria. The payment ensures that parents receive the financial support they need if they are unable to attend work due to childcare responsibilities.

How can parents apply for the £500 Test and Trace Support Payment?

Parents should apply via the local authority in which they live to receive a payment.

To apply for the payment, parents and carers will need to either provide their child’s NHS Test and Trace Account ID, or a communication from their early years provider or school informing them that their child needs to self-isolate.

Which parents are eligible for the Test and Trace Support Payment?

To be eligible applicants must meet all of the criteria that:

  • they are the parent or guardian of a child or young person in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate. This is limited to one parent or guardian per household for the child or young person’s self-isolation period
  • they are employed or self-employed
  • they cannot work from home while undertaking caring responsibilities and will lose income as a result
  • they meet all the other means-tested eligibility criteria for a Test and Trace Support Payment or locally determined criteria for a discretionary payment.

That their child or young person:

  • is aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)) and normally attends an education or childcare setting
  • has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Further information on the eligibility criteria for the scheme is available here.

From when can parents or carers claim the payment?

Government guidance states that you need to claim within 42 days of you or your child’s first day of self-isolation. The scheme actually ‘went live’ on 8 March 2021, so parents will be able to make a backdated claim from then.

Self isolation letter

If your child's nursery, pre-school or childminder has advised you that your child needs to self-isolate, then they will need to provide you with a letter to support your application to the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme.

Once an application for a payment has been received, the local authority will be in touch with your child's early years provider to verify the details of the child provided on the application.

This will include a check of the child’s name, age, address and days of self-isolation, and is to minimise the event of fraudulent claims.

This check may be conducted before or after a payment is made, depending on the arrangements the individual local authority has chosen to put in place.

Further information:

Read the government guidance in full: Claiming financial support under the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme

Read next:

Rapid lateral flow tests for households of nursery and primary school children - what parents/carers need to know


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