Coronavirus – getting benefits if you’re self-isolating
If you can’t work because you’re self-isolating, you might be able to get:
a self-isolation payment from your local council
- Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer
- Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the government
You can’t get SSP and ESA at the same time. It’s usually best to get SSP if you can.
You can get a self-isolation payment at the same time as SSP or ESA.
If you’re self-employed
You might also be able to claim money from the government’s Self-employment Income Support Scheme.
If you're returning to the UK from abroad
You might need to self-isolate – this is also called 'quarantine'.
You can’t get SSP or a self-isolation payment for being in quarantine. You might be able to get them for other reasons – for example if you have tested positive for coronavirus.
If you're employed, talk to your employer about what you can do while you're in quarantine – ask them if you can:
- work from home
- take annual or unpaid leave – you might be able to get ESA if you have to take unpaid leave
Check if you can get a self-isolation payment
You might be able to get a single payment of £500 from your local council if you’re employed or self-employed and you can’t work from home.
To get the payment you must be self-isolating at home because either:
- you tested positive for coronavirus
- the NHS told you to
You can’t get the payment just because you have to quarantine when you enter the UK from abroad.
You should be able to get the payment if you get at least one of these benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Pension Credit
- Working Tax Credits
- income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income Support
- Housing Benefit
If you’re not getting any of the benefits, you could still get the payment if you’re struggling with your living costs because you can’t work.
You can find out more and apply on your local council’s website – find your council’s website on GOV.UK.
Check if you can get SSP
You might get statutory sick pay (SSP) if you’re following government guidance to self-isolate.
You could get SSP if:
- you have coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus
- someone you live with has coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus
- someone in your ‘support bubble’ or ‘childcare bubble’ has coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus – check the rules on bubbles if you're not sure
- you're self-isolating because the NHS told you that you’ve come into contact with someone who has coronavirus
- you’ve been told to self-isolate before you go into hospital for surgery
You can read the government guidance about self-isolating on GOV.UK.
Check if you can get ESA
You might be able to claim Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if you’re self-isolating because of coronavirus. For example, you might be self-isolating because you or someone you live with:
- have coronavirus or symptoms of coronavirus – or you’re recovering from it
- have a medical condition which makes you ‘extremely vulnerable’ to coronavirus – check if you’re extremely vulnerable on GOV.UK
- came into contact with someone who might have coronavirus
- have been told to quarantine after returning from abroad – check if you have to quarantine on GOV.UK
If you can get ESA, you’ll be paid from the first day you were sick or self-isolating.
You can check if you can get ESA.
You might also be able to get Universal Credit if you’re on a low income or not working. Check if you can get Universal Credit.
If you’re already claiming benefits and start claiming Universal Credit, you won't be able to go back to the benefit you were on before. Talk to an adviser before applying for Universal Credit.