Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-isolation grants

Self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of Covid-19. The new Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without concerns around their finances.

You may be entitled to some financial support during the self-isolation period if:

  • You have been told by the NHS to self-isolate because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive; or
  • A child or young person in your household has been told to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, and the child or young person has been given a CTAS number (this payment is for parents or guardians)

The rules about self-isolation for close contacts of someone who has tested positive changed from 16th August 2021. The change means that the following will no longer be required to self-isolate. This means that you will not be eligible for a support payment:

  • Adult who are fully vaccinated (this means you have had two vaccinations, excluding a booster jab, and 14 days have passed since your second does of COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS)
  • All children aged under 18

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate (regardless of exemptions from self-isolation) between 30th November 2021 and 13th December 2021. This applies even if you are fully vaccinated and includes the parents/guardians of a child who are a close contact of an Omicron case. You may therefore be eligible for a support payment in these circumstances.

From 22nd December 2021 residents who test positive for COVID-19 can isolate for seven days instead of ten days in certain circumstances. Further guidance is available on GOV.UK. If you are eligible for a Test & Trace Support Payment it will still be paid at £500 even if your isolation period is less than ten days.

From 14th December 2021 if you are fully vaccinated and a close contact of someone suspected or confirmed to have any variant of COVID-19 (including Omicron) you should take an NHS lateral flow test every day for seven days. During this period you will not be eligible for a support payment.

However, if the adult subsequently tests positive they will still be able to claim a support payment. Additionally, a parent/guardian will still be able to claim if they have to remain at home to look after them and either:

  • The child is aged under 16 and tests positive (but only if the child's school or nursery has told them to self-isolate). This means that parents/guardians of children who have been sent home because they have COVID-19 symptoms are not eligible for a payment; or
  • The young person is aged 16 to 25, has been identified as a close contact and they have an Education, Health and Care Plan

Since 11th November 2021 all staff working or volunteering in an adult care home need to demonstrate that they are fully vaccinated (unless they are exempt) and the Government has introduced the Adult Social Care Infection Fund so that staff receive their normal wages if they have to self-isolate. Consequently, adult care home staff are not eligible for a support payment.

The rules about when the requirement to get a PCR test if you have a positive lateral flow test changed from 11th January 2022. However, the rules about being eligible for a support payment have not changed and you will not be eligible unless you have had a positive PCR test and are able to provide us with a valid CTAS number.

There are two types of payment that can be made:

  • Mandatory (or main) payments if you receive at least one of seven State Benefits
  • Discretionary payments if you do not receive one of the seven State Benefits and are suffering extreme financial hardship

Both mandatory and discretionary payments can be made because you have been told to self-isolate or because you are a parent or guardian.

If you would like to apply for a self-isolation grant ...

First please read the guidelines and FAQs below (which are also shown in the flowchart document below) to see if you are eligible to apply:

Who are the self-isolation grants for?

People who live in Adur and Worthing will be entitled to a self-isolation payment provided:

  • Either:
    • They have been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they've tested positive or are the close contact of a positive case; or
    • A child or young person (aged 25 or under) has been instructed to self-isolate because they are the close contact of a positive case. Only one application per household can be made
  • They are employed or self-employed
  • They are unable to work for home and will lose income as a result
  • They are 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

Who are the self-isolation grants NOT for?

You will not be eligible for the scheme if you:

  • Are quarantining after travelling abroad (unless you test positive during the 14-day quarantine period)
  • Continue to receive full wages while you self-isolate
  • Can work from home during a period of self-isolation
  • Have not received a notification from NHS Test and Trace telling you to self-isolate (or a child or young person in your household has not been told to self-isolate)

How does the self-isolation grant work?

  • First, make sure you meet all the criteria for receiving a payment
  • Applications for a payment must be made within 42 days of the start of the self-isolation period
  • Applications made because a child or young person is self-isolating can only be made if the start of the isolation period was 8th March 2021 or later
  • Then, if you do meet the criteria then complete the 5-minute application form at the end of this page
  • You will then receive email/SMS confirmation whether you fulfill the criteria for the payment or not
  • If you will be receiving the grant, you will receive details of how and when you can expect the payment

What you will need before you fill out the form

  • If you are applying because you have been told to self-isolate, the 8 digit reference number you were given by NHS Test and Trace
  • If you are applying because a child aged under 16 is self-isolating, a letter from their school or nursery telling them to self-isolate or the child's 8 digit reference number you were given by NHS Test and Trace
  • If you are applying because a young person aged 16 to 25 is self-isolating, a screenshot of their NHS COVID-19 App notification telling them to self-isolate and evidence that they have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
  • Your National Insurance number
  • A bank statement showing your account number and sort code
  • Proof of employment such as a pay slip, self assessment return or trading income

Will receiving a self-isolation grant affect Statutory Sick Pay or benefits?

  • Individuals will receive this payment on top of any Statutory Sick Pay or benefits they receive
  • Currently individuals in employment who are self-isolating and cannot work from home are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if they earn more than £120 a week from a single employer
  • Depending on their circumstances, they might also be able to claim Universal Credit and/ or new style Employment and Support Allowance

How much is the payment?

  • Individuals who are required to self-isolate and who meet the benefits-linked eligibility criteria will be entitled to £500
  • This will be payable as a lump sum

Will these payments be taxed?

  • These payments will be subject to income tax
  • They will not be subject to National Insurance contributions

How long will this be in place for?

  • The scheme will run until 24th March 2022

Can I make more than one claim?

  • Someone can claim more than once (if they are told to self-isolate multiple times), as long as they meet the eligibility criteria for each individual claim and their periods of self-isolation do not overlap.

Can I apply even though my self-isolation period has ended?

  • Eligible individuals can make a claim up to 42 days after their period of self-isolation started. Adur & Worthing Councils will not be able to accept applications after this point.

What if everyone in my home is self-isolating, can we all apply?

  • People in the same household can each make an individual application to receive the payment, if they each meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Only one application can be made in respect of a child or young person who is self-isolating

Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?

  • You can help someone else fill out an application, or fill out an application on their behalf
  • However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else
  • Payments will only be made to the person who has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Can my bank take my self isolation grant to pay my overdraft?

  • No, banks are not allowed to use your self isolation grant or any other benefit to repay an overdraft. You can protect your self isolation grant by writing to your bank. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'. You will need to tell your bank how to use these payments.
  • You will need to write to your bank at least seven days before the self isolation grant is due, making it clear what this money can be used for, for example your rent, electricity bill and water rates. Keep a copy of the letter in case there is any dispute later. You may want to ask your bank/building society for a written acknowledgement of your instructions. If there are any items you no longer want to pay from your account, or which you cannot afford, you should give your bank separate cancellation instructions. The first right of appropriation does not stop the bank paying items as well as those you have listed. If you do not cancel these items, your bank may return the items as unpaid, which they may charge you for. However, payments from your account to repay a loan with the same bank cannot be cancelled.

Self-isolation discretionary payments

  • If you do not receive one of the seven benefits listed at the top of this page but meet all the other qualifying criteria and are experiencing extreme financial hardship, you may qualify for a discretionary self-isolation payment. This may cover circumstances such as you are unable to make bill payments, are at risk or falling into debt or going without food.
  • If you don't qualify for a discretionary payment and have other concerns that we may be able to help with, please contact our Community and Wellbeing Team to discuss your options on:


Then, if you meet the criteria above and are eligible:

Please use one of the buttons below to apply for a grant:

Contact us about Self Isolation Payments

Adur (Lancing, Shoreham-by-Sea, Sompting and Southwick):



See also:

Back to top

Back to top