Council Tax, benefits and welfare - Coronavirus advice

Self-Isolation Support Grant

This grant opened on 12 October 2020.

The Scottish Government is providing a grant of £500 to people who are in receipt of low income benefits and who will lose income as a result of being asked to self-isolate by Test and Protect to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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
  • 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%
  • 13 October 2021 to require that individuals identified as contacts by Test and Protect (or equivalent service across the UK) who have been fully vaccinated become eligible only when they themselves test positive. Someone asked to self-isolate as a contact before 13 October 2021 will be able to make a claim without reference to their isolation status.
  • 30 November 2021 to enable contacts of someone who has tested positive or has been asked to isolate as part of an exercise within the public health response to a variant of concern to be eligible if they have to isolate for the required 10-day period.

The grant will support people who would otherwise struggle to be able to afford to comply with the requirement to self isolate. It provides the financial support they need to meet their basic needs during the 10 day period in which they are unable to work. You must apply to the Council where you live.

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.

The grant does not have to be paid back.

Who can apply

To apply you must meet all of the following

  • have been required to self-isolate by Test and Protect Scotland or equivalent service from elsewhere in the UK because they have tested positive for coronavirus; or
  • have received a public health request by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19 because they have recently been in close contact with someone who has either tested positive, or has received a public health request to self-isolate in relation to a variant of concern included on the list published by Scottish Government Coronavirus (COVID-19): Scottish Welfare Fund statutory guidance and that individual’s public health request can be verified
  • are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a child under 16 who has tested positive or is a contact who has not been fully vaccinated and has been required by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service) or a school–based Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate
  • are the identified appropriate carer of a person over 16 who has tested positive or is a contact who has not been fully vaccinated and has been required by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or a local Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will face reduced earnings as a result of self-isolating (we are working with local authorities to ensure that it is as easy as possible for people to demonstrate this); and
  • are currently receiving, have been awarded but not yet received a payment of, or have underlying eligibility (would ordinarily be entitled should an application have been made) for Universal Credit or one of the other named benefits based on earnings prior to their isolation period; or
  • are an individual who earns less than the Real Living Wage threshold

If you have no recourse to public funds or are an EEA national without settled status you will not be in receipt of the benefits listed but must be able to demonstrate you have a low income.

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
  • if no recourse to public funds, a letter from immigration or your passport confirming no recourse

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.
  • You have been identified as a close contact but are fully vaccinated and 14 days have passed since your second dose (or 14 days have passed since your dose of a vaccine for 12-17 year olds) and you return a negative PCR result

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.

Check your eligibility 

Check your eligibility for a Self-Isolation Support Grant on the Scottish Government website.

How to apply

Eligible applicants will receive a £500 grant paid directly to them. We aim to make payment to you within three working days of receiving a fully complete application with all supporting evidence.

Apply for Self-Isolation Support Grant

If you do not satisfy the criteria but are in a financial crisis please visit the Scottish Welfare Fund page as you may be eligible for a Crisis Grant.

Self-Isolation Support Grant application line

This line is for applications only when you are unable to apply online. We are not able to provide updates over the telephone.

Our telephone opening times are Monday to Thursday 10am to 4.45pm and Friday 10am to 3.40pm

0131 469 2922