Isolation period from 14 December 2021 to 23 February 2022

The eligibility criteria for a support payment changed on 14 December 2021 following changes to the rules on self-isolation.

The support payment was available for people who have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they had:

  • tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive and were not exempt from self-isolation.

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

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 exempt from self-isolation:

  • 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 been:
    • told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because they had tested positive for COVID-19 and were aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
    • told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or advised to do so by the NHS COVID-19 app because they were the close contact of someone with COVID-19, were aged 25 and under with an EHC Plan, and were not exempt from self-isolation.
  • the young person normally attended an education or care setting
  • the parent or guardian meet all the other criteria for a payment.

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.