THE Scottish Government has announced that applications for a self-isolation support grant have opened.
The £500 grant will be available to those on low incomes who would lose out as a result of following Covid guidance.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the scheme will go some way to ensuring that no-one has “to choose between doing the right thing or paying their rent or feeding themselves and their family”.
The grants will be targeted at those in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits who are employed or self-employed.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said the service will initially focus on people who are on the shielding list, people aged over 70, disabled people, and people in low income households.
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“We are considering how we roll this service out to further groups to reach even more people and provide support for them to isolate”, she added.
The service will deliver an initial 30-minute call, followed up by two 10-minute calls during the period of self-isolation, and will initially prioritise the most vulnerable individuals.
This will ensure people are referred to the relevant services for support while maximising uptake of the self-isolation support grant for those who are eligible.
The service will be rolled out from today, but the grant is available to anyone who fits the criteria and has been asked to self-isolate since September 28.
The money is not available to people who are quarantining after returning to the UK from abroad.
Grants can be received more than once if people are asked to self-isolate on more than one occasion, as long as these do not overlap.
How to apply
People who have been asked to self-isolate between September 28 and today, October 13, will need to call the National Assistance Helpline in order to have their application moved forward.
The National Assistance Helpline can be reached on 0800 111 4000.
People who fit the criteria and are asked to self-isolate from today will not need to do anything to receive the grant.
Instead, the Government will be proactively phoning those asked to self-isolate to help them claim the £500.
Local authorities will also contact those being asked to self-isolate to offer help, advice and assistance including help to access essential food and medication or local support services.
This will come as part of a service which people can choose to opt-in or opt-out of when they are first contacted by contact tracers.
However, people may still apply for the grant before they receive the government phone call, or access support even if they’ve opted out, by contacting the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.