Self-isolation Support Grant

Covid-19 Self-Isolation Support Grant

The Scottish Government is providing a grant of £500 to people who are in receipt of low-income benefits and who will lose income as a result of being required to self-isolate by Test and Protect to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Self-isolation payments are taxable. If you are employed, you will pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance. Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment. If you are self-employed you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return.

Applications must be received within 28 days of being advised to self-isolate. You can make an application each time you or anyone within your household have been asked to self-isolate by the NHS Test and Protect Service.

Who is eligible?

People who are 16 or over, live in the Highland Council area and have received notification from NHS Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus, have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or have been identified as a secondary contact. From 13 October 2021 fully vaccinated contacts will no longer be eligible for the grant when self-isolating unless they test positive.

From 7 December 2020 if you are the identified parent or primary carer of a child under 16 who has been required by the NHS Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or a local Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate.

Eligibility for the scheme was expanded further on 16 February 2021 to include carers of adults required to isolate.

In addition to the self-isolation period you must meet the following criteria:

  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will experience reduced earnings as a result
  • are currently receiving or have been awarded but not yet received a payment of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit and/or
    • Pension Credit
    • If none of the above apply - would have been entitled to Universal Credit if an application had been made prior to your self-isolation period
  • applicants who are in receipt of means-tested Council Tax Reduction (from 16 February 2021)
  • applicants who earn the Real Living Wage or less, or low-income households

If you have No Recourse to Public Funds and are on a low income you may be eligible for a discretionary payment. The eligibility is the same as the Self-Isolation Support Grant except for the requirement to be in receipt of a low-income benefit.

If you've been asked to self-isolate

Test and Protect will text you if they identify you as a close contact of someone who tests positive for Covid.

They’ll ask you to reply to the text to agree to share these details with your local council. This is so you can apply for the grant.

Highland Council cannot process your application unless you agree for Test and Protect to share these details.

Once you agree, it will take around 24 to 48 hours for us to get your details.

We will not be able to give you any update on your application until after then.

To apply, you must provide:

  • a bank statement
  • proof of employment or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact and
  • a statement declaring that you will experience reduced income during your period of self-isolation.
  • if you are caring for a child, confirmation that you are the parent or primary carer, you meet all the qualifying criteria and you will have a loss in earnings as a result of staying at home to care for the child

How to apply

Contact our Scottish Welfare Fund Team on 0800 083 1887 or the Welfare Support Team on 0800 090 1004.

What happens next?

You will receive a letter confirming our decision.

If you qualify for a grant, £500 will be paid into your bank account.

If you do not meet all the above criteria but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you hardship you can apply for a Crisis Grant through the Scottish Welfare Fund. If you have no recourse to public funds you may be able to access other support depending on your circumstances. Our Welfare Support Team can help you claim. They can be contacted on 0800 090 1004 (you will not be charged for this call).

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