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COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

COVID-19: latest update on how our services are affected and the support available

Council Tax, benefits, Scottish Welfare Fund & welfare advice

Self-isolation support grant

Individuals who lose income as a result of being required to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Scottish Government has committed to providing a grant of £500 to people who are in work and get low income benefits, and who will experience reduced earnings if they are unable to work from home as a result of being required to self-isolate to prevent the spread of COVID- 9. These payments are designed to help ensure workers who have tested positive for COVID-19, through a PCR test, and their close contacts, self-isolate for the required period to stop the onward spread of the virus

Payments will be made from 12 October 2020 to people who qualify and have been referred to make an application. The Test and Protect Service will tell you the period of your self-isolation. Applications for Self-Isolation Support Grant must be made within that period. From 16 February 2021, a widening of the application period increased to 28 days from being told to self-isolate. 

Eligibility for the grant was changed on 13 October 2021 to require that individuals identified as contacts by Test and Protect (or equivalent service across the UK) who have been fully vaccinated become eligible only when they themselves test positive

Eligibility for the grant was changed further on 30 November 2021 to enable contacts of someone who has tested positive or has been asked to isolate as part of an exercise within the public health response to a variant of concern to be eligible if they have to isolate for the required 10-day period.

Eligibility for the grant was changed further on 11 December 2021 to enable identified household contacts of someone who has tested positive to be eligible regardless of their vaccination status if they have to isolate for the required 10-day period.

Eligibility for the grant was changed further on 6 January 2022 to require that individuals identified as contacts by Test and Protect (or equivalent service across the UK) who have been fully vaccinated become eligible only when they themselves test positive following public health policy's return to the isolation requirements prior to 30 November 2021. This includes children and young people under the age of 18 years and 4 months who are treated as fully vaccinated from this day.

Further information on the Self Isolation Support Grant can be found at Self-Isolation Support Grant (£500) - mygov.scot

From 6 January 2022 eligibility for a Self-Isolation Support Grant is restricted to people who:

have received a public health request by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, because they have tested positive for coronavirus or

have not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and have received a public health request by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, because they have recently been in close, contact with someone who has tested positive or

have not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and have been notified by the Protect Scotland app (or equivalent app) to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, because they have recently been in close, contact with someone who has tested positive and this requirement can be individually verified or

are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a child under 16 who has tested positive for coronavirus and has been required by the test and protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or local Incident management Team notification to self-isolate or

are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a person over 16 who has tested positive for coronavirus and has been required by the test and protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or local Incident management Team notification to self-isolate or

are the identified appropriate parent or primary carer of a person over 18 years and 4 months who has not been fully vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine and has been required by the test and protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK), local public health director or local Incident management Team notification to self-isolate because they have recently been in close, contact with someone who has tested positive

You will only be eligible if you

  • are employed or self-employed;    and
  • are unable to work from home and will experience reduced earnings as a result;   and
  • are currently receiving, or has been awarded but not yet received a payment of,:
    • Universal Credit (from 7 December 2020 this includes applicants whose normal income is such that they would be entitled to Universal Credit if they had made an application);
    • Working Tax Credit;
    • Income-based Employment and Support Allowance;
    • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance;
    • Income Support;
    • Housing Benefit;
    • Pension Credit.

From 16 February 2021 this list also includes

o    Means-tested Council Tax Reduction; or

  • is an individual they earn less than the Real Living Wage. For this purpose the gross monthly income will be less than £1608.75; or
  • household income is below the stated low income threshold of 25% above UC levels for their household in that locality as detailed in the Ready Reckoner table provided below by Scottish Government for this purpose.

Find your household type

If your gross monthly household income is less than

Single with no children

£1,728.55

Couple with no children

£2,149.16

Single with one child

£2,959.33

Couple with one child

£3,379.94

Single with two children

£3,668.13

Couple with two children

£4,088.74

Single with three children

£4,648.95

Couple with three children

£5,069.56


If you make an application for Self-Isolation Support Grant you will have to provide information and evidence to allow a decision to be made. This will include information about the income and circumstances of every adult living in your household.

You cannot make an application direct unless you have been advised to do so.  

If you have been advised by the Test and Protect Service you will be contacted by the council if you have given consent to share your data with the local authority.  If you do not give your consent, the council will be unable to contact you.

South Ayrshire Council have been advised that this payment will be subject to income tax.

If you are self-employed the payment will be a coronavirus support payment and therefore a revenue receipt of your business, contributing towards your profits. The payment will need to be included on your Self Assessment Tax Return along with any other coronavirus support payments you may have received. 

If you are employed there is nothing you need to do. If your income for the year is not more than £12,500, you will not have any tax to pay. If tax is due, HMRC will automatically recover it from your pay through a change in your tax code. HMRC will send you a new tax code notice.  

Further information on eligibility for the Self Isolation Support Grant can be found at Check if you qualify and how to apply - mygov.scot

Financial assistance

We know that for many people the impact of coronavirus (COVID 19) may be financial. We will therefore be providing as much assistance as possible in relation to your welfare rights, and money/debt advice via telephone and by email. 

To speak to one of our advisors,  please call 0300 123 0900 and ask for the Information and Advice Hub; alternatively you can email us at informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk.

Foodbanks

We may also be able to provide those in crisis with a referral to local foodbanks. Please call 0300 123 0900 and speak with a Customer Services Advisor, who will complete your referral and provide you with information on which foodbank to attend.

Help with energy payments

If you are struggling to pay your fuel bills as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, you may be able to get help from your energy supplier. Many energy suppliers are now offering assistance to prepay and credit meter customers.

Help is available from Home Energy Scotland.

If you are in crisis, please contact our Information and Advice Hub at  informationandadvicehub@south-ayrshire.gov.uk or by calling  0300 123 0900.

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