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Self Isolation Support Grants

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Service Update

Due to the current impact of Covid-19 there will be significant delay in processing your application and normal timescales do not apply. Please do not call us for an update; you will be contacted by an Advisor once your application has been reviewed.

The Scottish Government has committed to providing a Self-Isolation Support Grant of £500 to workers who earn less than the Real Living Wage or are in receipt of a low income benefit, and who will experience reduced earnings as a result of them, their child or the person they are caring for being required to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

This will support people who would otherwise struggle to be able to afford to comply with the requirement to self-isolate.  It will provide them with the financial support they need to meet their basic needs during the 10-day period in which they are unable to work.

Eligibility for the £500 grant is restricted to people who:

  • Have received a public health request by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, because they have tested positive for coronavirus;  
    or
  • have not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and have received a public health request by the Test & Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 because they have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have been identified as a secondary contact;
    or
  • have not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and have been notified by the Protect Scotland app (or equivalent app) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 because they have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive and this requirement can be individually verified;
    or
  • are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a child under 16 or the identified appropriate carer of a person over 16 who has tested positive for coronavirus or who has not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and has been required by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or a local Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate because they have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, or have been identified as a secondary contact.

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

  • are employed or self-employed, and
  • are unable to work from home and will experience reduced earnings as a result; and
  • are assessed as having a low income, either
    • your household is currently receiving, or has been awarded but not yet received a payment of the following benefits, or whose income is such that you would ordinarily be entitled to Universal Credit should an application have been made prior to their isolation:
      • Universal Credit
      • Working Tax Credit
      • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
      • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
      • Income Support
      • Housing Benefit
      • Pension Credit and/or
      • Means tested Council Tax Reduction, or
  • are an individual who earns less than the Real Living Wage threshold as detailed in the Ready Reckoner table provided by the Scottish Government for this purpose; or
  • your household income is such that it falls within the agreed definition of ‘low income’ for this purpose for their household type in their local authority area, being 25% above the UC level, and including the temporary coronavirus £20 per week increase in the UC Standard Allowance. This is detailed in the Ready Reckoner table provided by Scottish Government for this purpose.

Eligibility for the scheme was expanded further on the 13th October 2021 to require that individuals identified as contacts by Test & Protect (or equivalent service across the UK) who have been fully vaccinated become eligible only when they themselves test positive. Someone asked to self-isolate as a contact before 13th October will be able to make a claim without reference to their isolation status.

The Self-Isolation Support Grant does not cover people who are:

  • waiting for a test result or self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad, unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or from 13th October are not fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the Text & Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK);
    or
  • from 13th October, are fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and are waiting for a test result or self-isolating after being identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 by the Test & Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK)

Evidence will be required to support your application, including proof of low income if you are not in receipt of a qualifying benefit, a bank statement, and proof of employment/self-employment. Without this evidence, we cannot award you a grant.

Payment will be made directly to your bank account.

Self-isolation payments are taxable. If you’re employed, you’ll 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’re self-employed, you must report the payment on your Self-Assessment tax return.

You may also be eligible for the grant if you are on a low income and have no recourse to public Funds. Although the Scottish Welfare Fund cannot normally be accessed by people with no recourse to public funds, we may be able to make a discretionary payment to people in this situation under Public Health legislation.

If you do not meet the qualifying criteria you may be eligible to apply for a Crisis Grant. This grant is designed to help people on low incomes who find themselves in a financial crisis situation. You can find out more information and apply here .

We cannot process your application unless you agree for the Test and Protect service to share your details with us. They will ask you to reply to a text to do this. Once agreed, it can take 24 to 48 hours to get to us.

Alternatively, you can apply by phone on 0300 555 0265 between 9.00 am – 2.30 pm.

BSL signed information video