Self-isolation support payments are now available

Published: Wednesday, 14th October 2020

If you have to self-isolate and can’t work from home, you may be able to claim a £500 payment. Oxford City Council is administering a government-funded scheme aimed at helping those who are financially out-of-pocket due to having to self-isolate.

“Oxford City Council wants to ensure that anyone who is entitled to financial help during the coronavirus crisis will get it. It is a difficult time for those forced to self-isolate and more so for those who will lose income as a result. We welcome this new government-funded payment and want to encourage all those who qualify to apply as soon as possible.”

Councillor Louise Upton, Cabinet Member for a Safer, Healthier Oxford

Who is eligible?

Residents can apply for a self-isolation payment if they are aged 16 or over and:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • are employed or self-employed;
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result; and 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.

Applicants are only eligible if their self-isolation started on or after 28 September.  Applications received where self-isolation has been prior to the first day of 28 September will be refused.

Who is not eligible?

Those not eligible include anyone:

  • quarantining after travelling abroad (unless testing positive during the 14 day quarantine period)
  • continuing to receive full wages whilst they self-isolate
  • working from home during self-isolation
  • no longer required to self-isolate
  • who has not received notification from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.

Discretionary payments are also available

Those not fulfilling the eligibility criteria could be eligible for a £500 discretionary payment if they:

  • have been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

In addition, the discretionary payment is for people:

  • who 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
  • who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.

The City Council will be carrying out stringent tests to eliminate any chance of fraudulent claims for the payment. This will include checking application information and data from other organisations including NHS Test and Trace, the DWP, fraud prevention agencies, and other government bodies.

Payments will be subject to Income Tax but not subject to National Insurance Contributions. Payments will be disregarded when calculating eligibility for other benefits.

Anyone wishing to apply for a self-isolation support payment should visit the City Council Test and Trace page. Other help for those in self-isolation is also available by phoning 01865 249811 or completing the form on our Community Assistance page.

The scheme will run until 31 January 2021.