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You could get a payment to help with loss of earnings if you’ve been told to self-isolate for a period and cannot work from home.

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First published:
12 November 2020
Last updated:


The COVID-19 self-isolation support scheme is ending on 30 June.

If you tested positive and had to self-isolate on or before 30 June, and you are eligible for support, you have 21 days to make a claim after your last day of self-isolation.

The self-isolation support scheme is for workers who cannot work from home and are advised to  self-isolate as a result of receiving and recording a positive test. It is also for parents and carers with children who record positive tests.

You must be working (employed or self-employed) to get the payment and need to claim within 21 days of your last day of self-isolation.

It should not affect any benefits you get.


You must have one of the following:

  • reported a positive lateral flow test (LFT) within 24 hours of the result, or
  • received a positive PCR test result

Before the self-isolation period, you must also be:

  • employed or self-employed
  • unable to work from home, and will lose income as a result of self-isolation
  • receiving 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
    • Pension Credit

If you are not receiving one of the benefits you may still be eligible if it is determined you are facing financial hardship as a result of the loss of your income whilst self-isolating. An example of where an award could be made is where an individual has a net income of less than £500 a week

If your child has tested positive and the test has been recorded

A parent or carer can also apply for a payment if their child has tested positive. You cannot get the payment if your child has been told to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app.

To get the payment, they must attend school, further education or childcare (up to and including Year 11 or up to age 25 if they have complex needs) and have been formally told to self-isolate by NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service.

How to apply

Local authorities are receiving a lot of applications and this may mean your claim is delayed. To minimise delays ensure you provide all the information required to support your claim.

You can apply online through your local authority.

Applying on behalf of someone else

You can apply on behalf of someone else, however the payment must be paid into the same named bank account as the person who the application is for. For example, if an application is made on behalf of a parent, the payment would be made into the parent’s bank account.

What you’ll need

Confirmation of the date you self-isolate .

Proof that you are getting one of the benefits listed in the eligibility.

If you're employed you'll also need:

  • latest bank statement (within the last 2 months showing proof of earnings)
  • latest payslip (within the last 2 months showing proof of earnings)
  • bank name, sort code and account number (all payments are BACS bank transfer only)

If you're self-employed you'll also need:

  • latest business bank statement (within the last 2 months)
  • most recent set of accounts or self-assessment return
  • bank name, sort code and account number (all payments are BACS bank transfer only)

After you apply

Your details will be checked against the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect register. If you have received a positive result from an LFD test, you must register the result in order to meet the eligibility criteria.

You will be contacted by email or letter about whether your application has been approved or not.

If your application is not approved

Your application will be refused if you do not meet the eligibility criteria. You cannot appeal or ask for a review of your application.

Your local authority may be able to help you if information was missing from your application. 

You could also apply for the Discretionary Assistance Fund.

If more than one person in your household record a positive test

If you and other people in your household are eligible, each person can apply for the payment.

If your child is eligible, you can only claim one payment for the household at the time of the self-isolation period.

Maximum number of claims that can be made

You may receive a maximum of 3 payments. In addition 3 payments can be made to parents or carers in respect of children  provided the eligibility criteria is met.

You must meet the eligibility criteria for all applications. Self-isolation periods must not overlap.

Tax and the support payment scheme

If you’re employed, you’ll pay tax on the payment if you go over your tax-free personal allowance (on GOV.UK). Your tax code will change to collect the tax. You will not pay National Insurance contributions on the payment.

You must report the payment on your Self Assessment tax return (on GOV.UK) if you need to file one, for example if you’re self-employed.