Financial support available for those on benefits who are told to self-isolate
Anyone who has been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or who is a parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate, and who meets the relevant eligibility criteria, can submit a claim for an additional £500 in financial support.
Anyone whose period of self-isolation began on or after 28 September 2020 will be able to submit a back-dated claim once applications are open.
From 16 August 2021, anyone who is fully vaccinated and identified as a contact will no longer have to self-isolate, so won’t qualify for a test and trace payment. Those who test positive for covid will still have to isolate and can still claim if they meet the criteria.
To claim this support you must submit your application within 42 days after your first day of self-isolation.
The scheme will last until 31 March 2022.
For further details please see our Self-isolation payment privacy notice.
To qualify for this support:
- You must be employed or self-employed;
- You must be unable to work from home;
- You will lose income as a result as a result of being self-isolated;
- and, you must be 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.
Those applicants who are not in receipt of the listed benefits can still receive a grant if:-
- a single applicant has a gross income less than £21,500 per annum
- a couple or single parent has a gross income less than £32,250 per annum
If you are a parent or guardian living with a child who has been told to self-isolate by their school, child care provider, or by NHS Test and Trace, then you may be entitled to financial support.
From 8 March 2021, any parent or guardian who has had to take time off work to supervise a child aged 15 or under (25 or under if that child has an Education Health and Care Plan) can apply for a £500 grant. This applies for a child who has to self-isolate from 8 March 2021.
From 16 August 2021, a child who is identified as a contact will still be able to go into school etc, so the parent/guardian will not have to take time off work to look after them. Children who test positive for covid will still have to self-isolate.
To be eligible:
- you must be the parent or guardian of the child / young person and their main residence is yours
- you must need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate
- be employed or self-employed
- not work from home whilst undertaking caring responsibilities for them and will lose income as a result
- you must currently receive at least one 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].
- Your child has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or by their education or childcare provider* because they have tested positive for Covid-19 or have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
If you who do not meet the benefit criteria, but you do meet all the other criteria, you can apply to our discretionary scheme for those on low income . You may also qualify if your household income is below £32,250 per annum gross.
*this must be a recognised school or registered childminder, not including informal childcare arrangements such as family, friends or neighbours.
Only one parent or guardian can make an application for a child told to self-isolate.
The following are not eligible for this support:
- If you are self-isolating under ‘quarantine rules’ after returning to the UK from abroad – unless you have tested positive for coronavirus or you have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace;
- If you are on furlough.
More details about making a claim
People in the same household can make an individual application if they meet qualifying criteria.
You can claim more than once, if you are told to self-isolate multiple times.
Applicants can claim on behalf of someone else (e.g. a son on behalf of a parent) but the payment will only be made into the bank account in the name for whom the application was made (e.g. in the parent’s name).
You will be notified when your application has been assessed. If successful you should expect to receive the money within three working days of it being approved.
If you are unable to complete this form online, or need help completing it, then please call 0800 464 3623
Can my bank take this payment to pay my overdraft?
No, banks are not allowed to use this or any other benefit to repay an overdraft.
You can protect your payments by telling your bank it should only be used to pay your rent, or other bill such as electricity or water rates. This protection is called a ‘first right of appropriation of funds order’.
You can use the first right of appropriation on any money being paid into your account.
You will need to tell your bank how to use these payments.