Isolation period from 16 August 2021 to 13 December 2021

The eligibility criteria for a support payment changed from 16 August 2021 to 13 December 2021 following changes to the rules on self-isolation.

Those that were required to self-isolate during this period could claim for a support payment up to 6 weeks - 42 days - after the first day of self-isolation.

For example, if your first day of self-isolation was 13 December 2021, the last day on which you can make a claim under this criteria was 24 January 2022.

Isolation period from 16 August 2021 to 29 November 2021

This support payment was available for people who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app between 16 August 2021 and 29 November 2021 because they had:

  • tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and were not fully vaccinated.

Isolation period from 30 November 2021 to 13 December 2021

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. This was regardless of exemptions from self-isolation, for example, age or vaccination status.

These individuals may have been eligible for a support payment provided they met the rest of the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility

To be eligible, you had to fall into one of the categories above, and:

  • live in Medway
  • have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and provided any legally required information, such as details of your close contacts
  • be employed or self-employed
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result of self-isolating
  • be currently receiving, or be the partner in the same household as someone who is receiving, at least one of the following benefits:
    • Universal Credit
    • Working Tax Credit
    • income-based Employment and Support Allowance
    • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
    • Income Support
    • Housing Benefit
    • Pension Credit.

Parents and guardians

A parent or guardian of a young person who was required to self-isolate may have been eligible for a support payment if they lived in England and meet the following criteria, even if they were fully vaccinated:

  • they were the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who was self-isolating and needed to take time off work to care for them
  • they were unable to work from home and would lose income
  • the young person had:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and was aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), was aged 18 to 25, was not fully vaccinated and had an EHC Plan.
  • the young person normally attended an education or care setting
  • the parent or guardian met all the other criteria for a payment.

Close contacts of someone suspected or confirmed to have the Omicron variant were required to self-isolate between 30 November 2021 and 13 December 2021. This was regardless of exemptions from self-isolation, for example, age or vaccination status.

The parent or guardian of these contacts may therefore have been eligible for a support payment provided they met the rest of the eligibility criteria.

Discretionary scheme

There was a discretionary scheme for people who did not get a qualifying benefit.

This scheme operated under strict criteria:

  • an applicant’s average gross earnings must have been no greater than £283.39 per week if they were single, or £423.08 if they had a partner or children. This is the amount they would have normally earned prior to self-isolation
  • an applicant could not have average gross earnings that are normally less than £80 per week
  • the applicant could not possess capital of more than £3,000.