Criteria extended for Self-Isolation Support Grant.
The £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant is being significantly extended to more people on low incomes.
The grant will be available to workers earning the Real Living Wage or less, as well as those in receipt of a council tax reduction because of low income.
People with caring responsibilities for someone over 16 who is asked to self-isolate, where the carer themselves meet the other eligibility criteria, can also get the grant.
In addition, the Scottish Government is lengthening the period during which people can apply for the Self-Isolation Support Grant. They will now be able to apply within 28 days of being told to self-isolate.
The changes will take effect from 16 February to allow local authorities time to change their systems and application forms, but eligibility will be backdated to 2 February. This means an additional 200,000 people will be eligible for the grant if they are asked to self-isolate.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:
“Supporting people to self-isolate is critical to controlling the spread of the virus. We always said we would review this grant to make sure it worked for people who face financial hardship as a result of self-isolation. That is why we are making changes to considerably increase the eligibility of the grant to those on low incomes.
“These are important changes and will be accompanied by a national and local media campaign to increase public awareness of support available. We know self-isolation is necessary to stop transmission of coronavirus, and recent research shows that 62% of symptomatic people and 80% of their close contacts comply fully with isolation guidance and I would like to thank them for this.
“While self-isolation can be difficult for everyone, we want to break down any financial barriers to complying. I am grateful to COSLA and local authority staff for their hard work to introduce these changes and offer support through the National Helpline and Local Self-Isolation Assistance Service to all those who need it.”
The Self-Isolation Support Grant is already available to low income workers who will lose earnings as a result of having to self-isolate, or having to care for a child under 16 who has to self-isolate.
You can call the Self-Isolation Support National Helpline on 0800 111 4000.
Public Health Scotland’s contact tracing service will revise call scripts and messaging to promote support available at the point people are contact traced.
Research on compliance for self-isolation is on Page 71 here.