Supporting low-income workers

Self-Isolation Support Grant scheme pays out £73 million over pandemic and will end next year.

Low income workers who lost earnings when they self-isolated after contracting Coronavirus (COVID-19) have received awards totalling almost £73 million.

The temporary Self-Isolation Support Grant is the longest running scheme of its kind in the UK. It helps those earning less than the Real Living Wage, around £1,771.25 per month, if they cannot go to work following their positive PCR test or someone they care for has a positive PCR test.

From October 2020 until October 2022 the scheme made more than 150,000 awards but will close to new applicants on 5 January 2023 as most people now no longer need to take a COVID-19 test. To prevent the spread of infection, people should try to stay at home if they feel unwell.

Alternative financial support will continue to be available, depending on individual circumstances, through Crisis Grants through the Scottish Welfare Fund, alteration to Universal Credit rates and Statutory Sick Pay for absences lasting longer than three days.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:

“The Self-Isolation Support Grant has provided vital help for those who would find it impossible due to their financial circumstances to follow the health guidance to stay at home if unwell.

“This emergency pandemic measure was introduced to support the important role of self-isolation in controlling transmission.

“The stay at home guidance has, since its launch, changed to reflect the prevalence of the virus and actions taken to combat it. We will continue to consider further measures to support those in high risk categories.

“Our COVID-19 vaccination programme has been hugely successful and has enabled us to ensure a safer and sustainable return to normality.”


Self-Isolation Support Grant (£250) -

Scottish Welfare Fund, Self-Isolation Support Grant and Discretionary Housing Payments: monthly data - (

On 5 January 2023, the Self-isolation Support Grant will close to new applicants in line with current self-isolation and testing advice. Anyone who has booked a PCR test on or before this date can apply for the grant up to 28 days from their positive test result.

The UK Government’s equivalent fund, the Test and Trace Support Payment scheme, ended on 24 February 2022.


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