The Scottish government has opened applications for a new grant to support those on low incomes who would experience financial hardship as a result of self-isolating due to coronavirus.
The Self Isolation Support Grant is aimed to prevent people from having to choose between self-isolating and being able to financially support themselves.
This is how to check if you could be eligible for the grant - and how to apply.
What is the grant?
People in Scotland on low incomes will be able to claim a new £500 grant if they are asked to self-isolate.
Social security secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said, “Self-isolation can be tough, but it is essential to protect people and reduce the spread of coronavirus. To ensure people do not experience financial hardship as a result of doing the right thing, we are introducing this new £500 grant for people on low incomes who have been told to self-isolate.
“We want to do everything we can to support people throughout this challenging time and these payments will help ensure people do not have to make a choice between self-isolating and supporting themselves financially.”
Who is eligible?
To be eligible for the grant, you must have been told by the Test and Protect Service to self-isolate as a result of Covid-19, either because you have tested positive for the virus, or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
You must also:
- be employed, or self-employed
- be unable to work from home, and lose income as a result of self isolation
Finally, you must be in receipt of, or have been awarded but not yet received payment of:
- Universal Credit
- Working Tax Credit
- Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
- Pension Credit
Applications for the grant opened on 12 October 2020. However, those who were told to self-isolate on or after 28 September (but before the scheme was operational in their local authority) will be able to make a backdated claim for payment.
You can apply for the grant more than once if you’re instructed to self isolate on more than one occasion, as long as these dates do not overlap.
Applications can be made at any point during your period of self isolation.
How to apply
To apply for the grant, you’ll need to provide the following information to your local authority:
- A notification from Test and Protect asking you to self isolate
- Proof of receipt or award of one of the qualifying benefits
- A bank statement
- Proof of employment, or if you are self employed, evidence of self assessment returns, trading income and proof that their business delivers services that cannot be undertaken without social contact
Your local authority might also ask for further information to confirm that you are eligible for the grant.
Once all your information has been verified, you will receive a letter which informs you of the outcome of your application. If you are successful in your application, payment should be made to you within three working days.
You can find your local council by entering your postcode into this online tool from the government.
On your local council website, search for ‘Self Isolation Support Grant’. Each local council website will have a different process, with some requiring you to fill out a form and others asking questions online.