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You could get a payment of £500 to help with loss of earnings if you’ve been told to self-isolate and cannot work from home.

First published:
12 November 2020
Last updated:

Summary

The self-isolation support scheme is for those on low income, who cannot work from home and must self-isolate. It is also for parents and carers on low incomes with children who are self-isolating.

Payments will be taxed, but are exempt from National Insurance contributions. It should not affect any benefits you get.

Eligibility

To get the payment you or your child must have been formally told to self-isolate. You cannot get the payment if your child has been told to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app.

One of the following must also apply:

  • you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, or have been contacted by the NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service or the NHS COVID-19 app because you’ve been identified as a contact and formally told to self-isolate
  • your child attends school, further education or childcare (up to and including Year 8 or up to age 25 if they have complex needs) and has been formally told to self-isolate by either:
    • NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service
    • your child’s school
    • your child’s further education setting
    • your child’s childcare setting (crèche, nursery)

You must also:

  • be working (employed or self-employed)
  • not be able to work from home and will lose earnings because you must self-isolate (only one parent or carer, if your child has been told to self-isolate)
  • be getting 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
    • Pension Credit

How to apply

You can apply online through your local authority.

If you’re self-isolating because you’ve been identified as a contact by the COVID-19 app, you can backdate your payment to 1 February 2021.

You can apply up to 21 days after your self-isolation period has ended.

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 or your child were told to self-isolate by either:

  • NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service
  • your child’s school
  • your child’s further education setting
  • your child’s childcare setting (crèche, nursery)
  • NHS COVID-19 app

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. This is to check that you have been formally told to self-isolate.

If you’re not listed, your application will be refused and not approved.

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

If your application is approved

If your application is approved you will be contacted by email within 3 working days. Your local authority will tell you when you will get the payment.

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.

Discretionary payments

If you meet most of the criteria but do not get benefits, you could apply for a discretionary payment from your local authority. Discretionary payments are only made in exceptional circumstances. For example, if:

  • you have a temporary immigration status with a condition that means you cannot apply for benefits (known as ‘no recourse to public funds (NRPF)’
  • you are getting Statutory Sick Pay or New Style Employment and Support Allowance
  • your income is less than £500 per week

Find out more about who can apply for discretionary payments from your local authority.

You could also apply for the Discretionary Assistance Fund.

If more than one person in your household are told to self-isolate

If you and other people in your household are told to self-isolate and are eligible, each person can apply for the payment.

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

If you need to self-isolate more than once

Because you may be asked to self-isolate more than once you may receive a maximum of 3 payments:

  • 1 payment for a positive COVID-19 test
  • 2 payments when contacted as a close contact or as a parent or carer of self-isolating children

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