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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- 19.

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. This is normally 10 days but will be confirmed by the Test and Protect Service. From 16 February 2021, a widening of the application period will increase to 28 days from being told to self-isolate.  Someone told to self-isolate on or after 2 February (but before the extension is operational in their local authority area) will be able to make a backdated claim for payment.

From 7 December 2020 an application may be made by the appropriate parent or primary carer of a child who has been required by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK) or a school-based Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate. Only one application can be made for the household for this type of application during the period of the child's self-isolation. The normal eligibility criteria will be considered for the application. 

From 16 February 2021 an application may be made by the carer of a person over 16 who has been notified to self-isolate by the Test and Protect Service (or equivalent service across the UK). The carer of the person over 16 should be doing so in a non-professional capacity. It must be reasonable that the cared for person requires the assistance of another person to self-isolate and that the applicant is the appropriate person to do so.  The normal eligibility criteria will be considered for the application. Where the carer is also making a claim to support their own self-isolation period, an additional grant for caring for a person over 16 cannot be awarded.

Eligibility for a Self-Isolation Support Grant is restricted to people who:

Have been required by the Test and Protect Service or a school-based Incident Management Team notification to self-isolate as a result of COVID-19, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus, have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive or are awaiting a test result.  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 £1543.75; 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


Couple with no children


Single with one child


Couple with one child


Single with two children


Couple with  two children


Single with three children


Couple with three children


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.  

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


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 or by calling  0300 123 0900.