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Self Isolation Support Grants

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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, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
    or
  • 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 who 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;
    or
  • are the identified appropriate carer of a person over 16 who 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.

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, as detailed in the Ready Reckoner table provided by Scottish Government for this purpose.

Eligibility for the scheme was expanded further on the 16th February 2021 and you can apply for the grant for a period of 28 calendar days from the date you were told to self-isolate. Backdated claims to the 2nd February under the new eligibility criteria will be accepted.

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.

The Self-Isolation Support Grant does not cover people who are self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad unless they have tested positive for coronavirus or have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by the Test and Protect Service.

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.

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.

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

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