Self-Isolation Grants

What is a Self-isolation Grant

From 12 October, people on low incomes may be eligible to receive a new £500 grant if asked to self-isolate by NHS Test & Protect.

The new Self-Isolation Support Grant will help those who would lose income if they needed to self-isolate, such as those unable to carry out their work from home.  It has been introduced to help people to do the right thing when asked to self-isolate, to control the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).

This grant is for those who will face financial hardship due to being asked to self-isolate and will be targeted at people who are in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits, with some discretion to make awards to others in financial hardship. 

Applications open from 12 October and will be made through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund crisis grant application process.

Eligibility for the scheme was expanded on 7 December 2020 to include parents or primary carers of children required to self-isolate and those with household income less than Universal Credit levels

Eligibility for the scheme was further expanded on 16 February 2021 to include carers of adults, those in receipt of Council Tax Reduction and those who earn less than the Real Living Wage or whose household income is less than Universal Credit plus 25%

Only people self-isolating from 28 September 2020 can apply. From 2 February 2021 applications must be received within 28 days of being advised to self-isolate.

Eligibility for a Self-Isolation Support Grant is restricted to people who:

  • have been advised by Test and Protect to self-isolate due to COVID-19 or are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a child under 16 where the child has been required to self-isolate by Test and Protect or through the local authorities own records for school based notifications of isolation or are the primary carer of an adult where the cared for adult has been required to self-isolate by Test and Protect or by a local incident Management Team;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • 16 years old or over;
  • are unable to work from home;
  •  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 they would ordinarily be entitled to Universal Credit should an application have been made prior to self-isolation:
    • Universal Credit
    • Income Support
    • Income Related Job Seekers Allowance
    • Income Related Employment Support Allowance
    • Housing Benefit
    • Working Tax Credits
    • Pension Credit
    • Council Tax Reduction; or
    • an applicant earns less than the Real Living Wage

Evidence requirements

You will need to provide the following evidence to prove you are eligible.

  • proof that you are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits
  • a recent bank statement
  • proof of employment or self-employment and that you cannot work from home
  • proof that your earned income will reduce as a result of having to self-isolate

A decision maker will contact the applicant for more information, check with third parties including the NHS Test & Protect or employers (subject to the applicant’s agreement).

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 the council. This is so you can apply for the grant. 

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

When a grant cannot be paid

A grant cannot be paid if

  • Test and Protect Service has not requested that you self-isolate.
  • Test and Protect requested that you self isolate before 28 September 2020
  • you are not employed or self-employed.

For example, you would not qualify if you are self-isolating because you are returning to the UK after being abroad or because you feel that you have symptoms and haven't been tested. If you are self-isolating under any other circumstances and you are struggling financially then you should apply for a Crisis Grant.

If you have any questions or want to provide additional information after you submit your application, please contact the Scottish Welfare Fund Team on 0300 123 4510 or e-mail