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Coronavirus Health Public Health Social Security

More People Can Claim Self-Isolation Support Grant

Help extended to parents of children self-isolating.

The £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant is being extended to include parents on low incomes whose children are asked to self-isolate, Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced today.

The grant will also become available to those who may be eligible for Universal Credit, but have not yet applied.

Both changes will be introduced from 7 December.

Ms Somerville said:

“We introduced this grant at unprecedented speed, and I am grateful for the work of COSLA and councils to ensure it is up and running.

“While self-isolation can be difficult for everyone, we know there are particular financial barriers to complying faced by some people.

“We always said we would review this grant to make sure it worked for people who face hardship as a result of self-isolation. That is why we are making changes for some people who are not currently eligible.

“We are extending it to parents of children aged under 16 who need to take time off work because their child is told to self-isolate, and also to people who are eligible for Universal Credit, but have not claimed it – providing they fulfil all of the other criteria for the grant.

“Supporting people to self-isolate is critical to controlling the spread of the virus. These are important changes, and I am grateful to councils for their continued work to support those who can claim this grant.”

COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson Councillor Kelly Parry said:

“COSLA welcomes the Self-Isolation Support Grant being extended to parents and carers of children who have been asked to stay home from school because of the virus and that it will also include those with an underlying eligibility for benefits.

“Council staff across the country have been working really hard to ensure the grant is accessible to people who have experienced a loss in income after being asked to self-isolate.

“By extending the eligibility for the grants, more people will be helped to stop the spread of the virus over the winter period.”

Background

The Self-Isolation Support Grant provides £500 for low income workers who are in receipt of Universal Credit or other benefits and will lose earnings as a result of having to self-isolate.

Parents or carers of children under 16 who are asked to self-isolate, but who are not required to self-isolate themselves, are not currently eligible for the grant.

This is why the grant will be extended to those parents and carers, where they fulfil the other eligibility criteria:

  • employed or self-employed and unable to work from home
  • in receipt of Universal Credit or one of those which will be replaced by UC (legacy benefits)
  • facing a loss of income from looking after the child during the period of self-isolation

Only one claim per household can be made, where a parent or primary carer is required to look after a child who must isolate.

Eligibility will also be extended to people with a low level of income which means they would be entitled to Universal Credit.