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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

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have been formally told to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect service on or after 23 October 2020, you can apply for a payment.

The Self-isolation support scheme is for those on low income, who cannot work from home and must self-isolate.

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 must:

  • have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been contacted by the NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service and formally told to self-isolate on or after 23 October 2020
  • be working (employed or self-employed)
  • not be able to work from home and will lose earnings because you must 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 only apply online through your local authority. Payments will be backdated to 23 October 2020.

Your application will not be accepted if you were told to self-isolate before 23 October 2020, even if the period of self-isolation continued after 23 October 2020.

You can apply up to 14 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 were told to self-isolate by the NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service.
  • 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)’
  • your total household income is less than £350 per week
  • you have less than £6,000 in savings

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 individually for the payment.

If you need to self-isolate more than once

You can only get one payment from the Self-isolation support scheme if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19.

If you’ve been identified as a close contact, you can apply twice. You must meet the eligibility criteria for both applications. The self-isolation periods must not overlap.

Self-isolating after returning to the UK from abroad

You can only apply for the Self-isolation support scheme after returning to the UK from abroad, if you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 or have been contacted by the NHS Wales Test, Trace Protect service and formally told to self-isolate.