Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Coronavirus - check what benefits you can get

This advice applies to Scotland

If you’ve been affected by coronavirus, you might be able to claim benefits or get more money on your current benefits. 

This might be because you: 

  • can’t work as you have coronavirus or you’re following guidance to stay home - this is called ‘self-isolating’ 
  • are earning less because you can’t go to work 
  • are self-employed and you’re earning less 
  • have lost your job

If your employer has told you not to work, you might be able to keep getting paid. You should check if your employer can pay 80% of your wages and claim it back from the government.

If you’re not a UK citizen, you might still be able to claim benefits - check the rules for the benefit you want to apply for.

If you need emergency help

If you need urgent help to pay for essentials like food, gas or electricity because of coronavirus, you could apply for a crisis grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

The council will check your eligibility. They're getting more money so they can pay out more grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund because of coronavirus.

Read more about crisis grants from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Check if you can get Statutory Sick Pay

You might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you have coronavirus or you’re following the government guidance to self-isolate. You can’t get SSP if you’re self-employed. 

This says you will need to have coronavirus symptoms yourself or be living with someone who does. Read the government guidance on GOV.UK.

You would get SSP from the first day you were ill or you started self-isolated. It will be paid in the same way as your wages. 

To get SSP, you need to: 

  • be an employee  
  • earn more than £118 a week 

If you’re an employee, you should also check your work contract -  your employer might pay you more than SSP when you're sick.

If you're self-isolating and can't work from home, you should still get SSP and you’ll get sick pay from your employer if your contract allows it.

If you’re on a zero hours contract and you’ve already been offered work with an employer, you might still be able to get SSP. You’ll need to meet all the normal eligibility rules too. You’ll only get SSP for the work you’ve already been offered.

You can also check your rights to sick pay if you get coronavirus on the Acas website. Acas gives free information to employees and employers.

If you’re self-employed or can’t get SSP 

You might be able to claim contribution-based or new-style Employment Support Allowance (ESA) if you have coronavirus or you’re self-isolating. 

You’ll need to have paid enough National Insurance contributions for 2 tax years – in 2020 the tax years are 2017-18 and 2018-19.

If you can get ESA, you’ll be paid from the first day you were sick or self-isolating. 

You’ll also be able to get ESA if you’re caring for a child who has coronavirus or who’s been told to self-isolate.

Check if you can get ESA

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help. 

If you’ve not claimed benefits before 

You might be able to claim Universal Credit as well as SSP. You can still get Universal Credit if you’re self-employed. 

Check if you can claim Universal Credit.

If you’re struggling to pay your bills, you might be able to get extra help.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?

Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help.

Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.