COVID-19 Self-isolation Support Grant

The purpose of the grant is to assist people in receipt of low incomes to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This should support people to be able to afford to comply with the Test and Protect Service's requirement for them to self-isolate during the 10-day period.

Eligibility criteria

In accordance with Scottish Government guidance, you may be eligible for a £500 payment but only if you meet the following criteria.

To be eligible for the grant all four of these things must apply:

1. You must be aged 16 or over, living in Aberdeenshire Council area, told by Test and Protect to self-isolate, or you are:

  • the parent or carer of a child under 16 who has been told to self-isolate
  • caring for someone over 16 who has been told to self-isolate

2. You must be employed or self-employed before your self-isolation period began.

3. You'll lose income because you cannot work from home.

4. You must be on a low income or getting one of these benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit
  • Council Tax Reduction

Changes to the eligibility criteria from 13th October 2021

Please note that the eligibility criteria was revised on 13 October 2021 to include information about an applicants vaccination status. The new eligibility criteria will be used when assessing all applications submitted from this date.

Vaccination status

Fully vaccinated close contacts are not eligible to receive the grant for the period in which they are self-isolating and waiting their PCR test result. Those who are not fully vaccinated are still eligible subject to meeting all other eligibility criteria.

Definition of fully vaccinated

For adults, fully vaccinated means that it's at least 14 days since you've had your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

For most children, aged 12 - 17, fully vaccinated means having received one vaccine dose with at least 14 days passing since the vaccination date.

Low-income levels for the Self-Isolation Support Grant

If you are a low paid worker, you can apply for the grant if either your personal earnings or household income is below the amounts shown.

Personal income levels

Applications received up to and including 14 November 2021

You can apply for the grant if your personal earnings are £1,543.75 or less per month. This amount is before deductions such as tax and National Insurance.

If your personal earnings are over this you might still qualify under your total household income.

Applications received on or after 15 November 2021

You can apply for the grant if your personal earnings are £1,608.75 or less per month. This amount is before deductions such as tax and National Insurance. 

If your personal earnings are over this you might still qualify under your total household income. 

Household income levels for applicants who are responsible for paying rent or a mortgage

The household income level depends on your household type and whether or not you have children. This amount is after deductions such as tax and National Insurance.

Household type Number of children Monthly household income after deductions (£)
Single person 0 1,657.45
Couple 0 2,024.65
Single person 1 2,920.56
Couple 1 3,287.76
Single person 2 3,697.65
Couple 2 4,064.85
Single person 3 or more 4,662.76
Couple 3 or more 5,029.97

If you do not pay rent, a mortgage or have special circumstances

The low-income levels are different if you do not pay rent or a mortgage. For example, if you’re an adult living at home with your parents.

For most single people who do not pay rent or a mortgage the monthly maximum personal earnings amount is £1543.75. This is for the individual person and not the household.

Special circumstances

Special circumstances can include if you:

  • are disabled or a carer (or another household member is)
  • have more than 2 children
  • have limited capacity for work related activity
  • have childcare costs

In these cases, we will need to do an individual assessment of your income.

If you have more than 2 children

DWP limits Universal Credit payments to 2 children born after 6th April 2017, unless special circumstances apply. There is no limit to how many children you can claim for if born before 6th April 2017.

If you meet the eligibility criteria for a grant you will be paid £500, however only one claim per household can be made where a parent or primary carer is looking after a child under 16 who is required to isolate.

Evidence requirements

You will need to provide evidence as part of your application to verify your application. We will contact you to discuss your application on your preferred contact method and we will let you know what evidence is required.

The types of evidence you may be asked for are as follows:  

  • Evidence that the Test and Protect Service has requested that you self-isolate
  • Proof that you are in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits
  • A bank statement
  • Proof of employment or self-employment and that you cannot undertake your job or run your business without social contact or from home
  • Proof that your pay or income will reduce as a result of having to self-isolate

How to apply

Apply for a self-isolation grant

View the Scottish Welfare Fund privacy notice (pdf 197KB).

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m self-isolating after returning to the UK after being abroad, can I apply?

No, you are not eligible under this scheme. If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to meet your daily living expenses, you may be entitled to a Crisis Grant. Apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

I am self-isolating because I have symptoms but I haven’t been tested, can I apply?

No, part of the criteria for the grant is that you have been asked to self-isolate at the request of NHS Test and Protect, on or after 28th September 2020. If you are experiencing financial hardship and are unable to meet your daily living expenses, you may be entitled to a Crisis Grant. Apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to make a decision within three working days, however we are experiencing an unprecedented volume of applications and enquiries. Current timescales for processing of grant applications are approximately 4-5 weeks upon receiving a fully completed application along with all supporting evidence.

How long do I get to apply?

Applications can be made at any point during the 28 calendar day period of Self-isolation which commences on the date on which you were requested to self-isolate.

I’m not eligible, what other support might be available to me?

If you are experiencing financial hardship and you are unable to meet your daily living expenses, you may be entitled to a Crisis Grant. You will still be required to meet certain eligibility criteria. Apply to the Scottish Welfare Fund.

I have been asked to self-isolate for the second time, I’ve already made one claim, can I apply again?

Individuals can claim more than once as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim, including being asked by Test and Protect to self-isolate each time.

I am on sick leave from my work only receiving Statutory Sick Pay, am I entitled to the Self-isolation support grant?

Yes, as long as you meet all of the other eligibility requirements for the Self-Isolation support grant.

Is this payment taxable?

Yes, the payment will be subject to income tax. It will not be subject to National Insurance contributions.  

What happens if I’m self-employed?

The payment will be a coronavirus support payment and therefore a revenue receipt of your business, contributing towards your profits. The payment will need to be included on your Self-Assessment Tax Return along with any other coronavirus support payments you may have received. 

What happens if I’m employed?

There is nothing you need to do. If your income for the year is not more than £12,500, you will not have any tax to pay. If tax is due, HMRC will automatically recover it from your pay through a change in your tax code. HMRC will send you a new tax code notice. Contact HMRC for more information.

Does the payment impact existing benefit entitlements?

No, the payment does not affect existing entitlements to Universal Credit, Pension Credit, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Job Seeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit or Housing Benefit. The payment will also be disregarded as income for the purposes of tax credits.

Contact us

Email: asatswf@aberdeenshire.gov.uk

Telephone: 01467 537400