Self isolation grant: Who is eligible for the new £500 self isolation grant?

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Amid speculation about a second national lockdown across the UK, the Government has set up a new self-isolation grant to help support those who need financial help while they self-isolate. From September 28, it will become law for UK residents to go into a 14-day quarantine if they have been notified by the NHS Track and Trace system they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

If people fail to comply with these rules, they will face tougher penalties.

Fines for breaching the rules will begin at £1,000 and rise to £10,000 for repeat offenders.

Quarantine or self-isolation means you must not leave your home unless absolutely necessary – such as to buy medication and food.

You should ask a friend or family member to get these for you and should only go out if these options are not available to you.

Boris Johnson said this week: “The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus.

“And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

“People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines.

“We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives.

“And while most people are doing their absolute level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate.

“That’s why we’re also introducing a new £500 Test and Trace Support payment for those on low incomes who are required by NHS Test and Trace to remain at home to help stop the spread of the virus.”

According to GOV.UK, you are only allowed to break self-isolation in the following circumstances:

• you are travelling directly in order to leave England
• you need urgent medical assistance (or where your doctor has advised you to get medical assistance)
• you need urgent access to veterinary services (or on the advice of a veterinary surgeon)
• you have exceptional circumstances, such as needing to leave to buy food or medicines in a situation where it cannot be arranged for someone else to do it on your behalf, or you need to move to somewhere else to self isolate if you cannot remain where you are
• you need to fulfil a legal obligation such as participate in legal proceedings
• to avoid injury or illness or to escape a risk of harm

In England, you can leave your house to go to a funeral of a family member or someone you live with, or you need to visit a critically ill or dying relative or someone you live with.

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Who’s is eligible for the self isolation grant?

Those who require the grant must be:

  • Told by NHS Test and Trace they are required to self-isolate
  • Employed or self-employed
  • Unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • 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.

The grant will come into place on October 12 once local authorities have been able to set the scheme up.

Anyone who is told by the NHS they must self-isolate from September 28 onwards will be able to claim if they are eligible.

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