Self isolation support payments

If you are on a low income and have been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate - either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

From 28 September 2020, benefits claimants who need to self-isolate but are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result are eligible for a lump sum payment of £500.  These payments will be managed on behalf of Government by local councils. There is also discretionary support available for working people who are not on benefits.

From 1 April 2021, you can make a claim up to 42 days from the start date of self-isolation.

From 16 August 2021 if you are fully vaccinated you cannot claim unless you have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because YOU have tested positive.

Who can claim?

Your usual address must be in Crawley.

You have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have tested positive for COVID-19;
have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because you have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and you are NOT fully vaccinated.

You must be in-work (not furloughed) and unable to work from home.

You have responded to the message from NHS Test and Trace and provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts.

You must receive at least one of these benefits (you may qualify for the discretionary scheme if you don't): 

  • universal credit
  • working tax credit
  • income-based employment support allowance
  • income-based jobseekers allowance
  • income support
  • housing benefit
  • pension credit 

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a payment if they live in Crawley and meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • You are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self isolating and need to take time off work to care for them
  • You are unable to work from home and will lose income
  • The young person has tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
    they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan
  • The young person normally attends an education or care setting.
  • You meet all the other criteria for a ‘main’ payment.

What you will need when you apply

  • The unique ID number from your NHS Test and Trace notification
  • If you are employed, the name and email address of your employer so they can confirm that you are unable to work from home
  • If you are self-employed, you will need a recent business bank statement, business accounts or evidence of self-assessment tax returns and evidence your business cannot be done without social contact
  • Your bank details and a recent bank statement
  • Your National Insurance number

Isolating as a result of notification by the app

If the NHS COVID-19 app has told you to self-isolate because you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you will need to follow some additional steps to request your NHS Test and Trace Account ID. You will not get a valid Test and Trace isolation code until you complete all of the steps.

Self-isolating away from your normal home

If you have given an address to the contact tracing service that is not your normal home, you will need to apply for a payment in the local authority area in which you are self-isolating. Not your normal home address. The test and trace number is postcode sensitive and the eligibility checker will come back as not verified if the address that you are isolating is outside of the Crawley area.

Discretionary payment scheme

If you not meet the criteria above for the main scheme you may be eligible for the local discretionary scheme. The differences to the main scheme are:

  • You are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income based Employment and Support Allowance, income based Jobseeker's allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension credit; and
  • Your normal weekly earnings are below £400pw if you have no children or £600pw if you do have children
  • You have capital and/or savings below £2,000

The scheme is totally discretionary with limited funds

We will take into consideration debts and other priority outgoings such as child maintenance and priority will be given to those in jobs in areas such as hospitality, catering, manufacturing, cleaners and retail.

See our policy below (related documents).

How to apply

Make sure you have the information ready, then apply using the Grant Approval online form.

Other information

  • Even if you make a joint claim for universal credit, you claim the support payment as an individual, so if you and your partner BOTH need to self-isolate, you can each make separate claims for the £500 payment
  • If you are told to self-isolate again, you can claim another payment, as long as you meet the criteria
  • The payment won't affect your benefits. It will be "disregarded" for benefits purposes, but you will still need to log it as a payment in your online journal
  • The payments are subject to income tax, but not national insurance contributions 
  • Anyone who qualifies for this payment will receive it on top of any statutory sick pay they are entitled to  
  • We aim to make payments within 3 working days of application if you are eligible