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Coronavirus – getting benefits if you’re self-isolating

This advice applies to Scotland

There are benefits and grants you can claim if you or your child is ill with coronavirus. What you should claim depends on whether you have to stop working to self-isolate.

If you’re not sure, you should check if you have to self-isolate on NHS inform.

If you have to stop working to self-isolate, you might be able to get a self-isolation support grant from your local council.

If you’re able to work, you don’t have the right to get benefits just because you’re self-isolating or you’ve got coronavirus. It’s worth speaking to your employer - they might agree to let you take paid sick leave.

If you’re too ill to work, you might be able to get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from your employer if you have one - check if you can get SSP. If you can’t get SSP you might be able to get Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) from the government - check if you can get ESA.

You can get a self-isolation support grant at the same time as SSP or ESA.

You can also find out what to do if you need to be off work to care for someone.

If you're a social care worker

If you're a social care worker and you're self-isolating, you might be able to keep getting your normal pay.

You're a social care worker if you work in the social care sector. For example, you work in:

  • a care home
  • childcare
  • offender accommodation
  • housing support
  • someone's own home as a personal assistant.

You'll only get your normal pay if you're self-isolating because you have coronavirus or you're following public health guidance. For example, you're self-isolating because you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.

Ask your employer to keep paying you your normal pay. They should apply to the Scottish Government's Social Care Staff Support Fund to get the money back. 

Find out more about the Social Care Staff Support Fund.

Check if you can get a self-isolation support grant

You might be able to get a payment of £225 from your local council if you’re employed or self-employed and you’ve lost income because you can’t work from home.

Check if you can get the self-isolation support grant on mygov.scot.

You should apply within 28 days of being told to self-isolate.

You can get the payment 3 times if you have to stay at home again. 

If your local council refuses to give you a self-isolation support grant

You can ask your local council to look at their decision again. It’s worth showing them extra evidence that you need the money. For example, you might show them evidence of bills you have to pay soon.

If your local council refuses to give you a self-isolation payment

You can't appeal the decision, but you can ask your local council to look at their decision again. It’s worth showing them extra evidence that you need the money. For example you might show them evidence of bills you have to pay soon.

If you're struggling to pay your bills

If you're struggling to pay for food, find out how to get help from a food bank. If you have children, check if they can get free school meals.

You can check what other help you can get if you can't pay your bills. This includes things like your mortgage, energy bills, council tax or court fines.

You might also be able to get other benefits - for example, if you’re a carer or have a long-term health condition. If you’re not sure which benefits to apply for, you can talk to an adviser.

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