Help with your money

Self-isolation payment

The self-isolation payment has been introduced to help people on low incomes self-isolate when they test positive or are identified as a contact, and to encourage more people to get tested. This will help to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) and avoid further restrictions.

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, and you meet the criteria, you may be entitled to £500 to support you through your self-isolation period.

You may also be eligible for payment if you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to self isolate and you meet other eligibility criteria.

This will be paid as a one-off payment into your bank account. These payments are subject to income tax, but not subject to national insurance contributions.

We aim to make the payment within seven working days from the date you make your application. Please do not contact us about the status of your application unless this timeframe has expired.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the self Isolation payment, you must either:

  • Have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace either because you have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
  • Be the parent or guardian of a child aged 15 or under (or 25 or under with an Education Health and Care Plan) who normally attends an education or childcare setting and has been told to self isolate by NHS TEST and Trace or by their education or childcare setting because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID 19. You must live in the same household and need to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate.

In addition, you must also:

  • Be 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.
  • Be employed or self-employed.
  • Be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

There is a limited discretionary scheme available for those who meet the criteria outlined above but are not in receipt of any benefits. This discretionary scheme is subject to the following additional criteria:

  • In receipt of an average net earned income (either through employment or self-employment) of less than £270 a week in the five weeks prior to self-isolating
  • Have less than £1,000 capital
  • Must be responsible for housing costs such as a domestic mortgage or rent
  • Must have no other form of income coming into the household, including any partners income living in the household.

Limited funding is available so only those residents who are able to demonstrate severe financial impact and demonstrate they will be in a crisis situation without a discretionary self-isolation payment will be considered.

Applications will be considered on a case by case basis and you may be contacted to clarify information or to provide further evidence.

Once the discretionary funding has been allocated, no further discretionary payments can be made.

You can make a claim up to 42 days from the start of your self-isolation period. Do not apply if this time period has expired as your claim will not be accepted.

If you are the parent or guardian of a child or young person who is self-isolating, you can make a claim up to 42 days from the start of their self-isolation period. You can also make a backdated application if your child has been told to self-isolate on or after 8 March 2021.

Only one parent or guardian per household can make an application for the child or young person’s self-isolation period. 

Applications are processed in date order. Current processing times are up to 20 working days. Please do not contact us about the status of your application unless this timeframe has expired.

Please provide all the required supporting documents at the time of your applications. Failure to do this will result in your application being rejected.

Can I help someone else make an application, or make an application on their behalf?

You can help someone else fill out an application or fill out an application on their behalf. However, you cannot receive payments on behalf of someone else. Payments will only be made to the person who has been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Each application is for one person only and any further applications within the same household must be made individually.

Applications will only be accepted if you live in the borough of Ealing. If you are not an Ealing resident please apply through your local council.

If you are claiming as the parent or guardian of a child or young person who has been told to isolate, you must provide proof that they have been told to self-isolate by their school or care provider. We will contact the school or care provider to confirm this.

What do I need to do?

If you receive a self-isolation payment you must self-isolate as requested by NHS Test and Trace.

Please visit the NHS website for more details of the NHS Test and Trace self-isolation requirements for those:

  • Testing positive 
  • Those who have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and has now been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace
  • Whose child has been told to self isolate by their school or care provider.


You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to receive these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

The government is supporting local councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Data sharing

The information you submit here will be processed by Ealing Council. We need your consent so that we can access your records in the NHS Test and Trace system to confirm that you are eligible for the self-isolation payment scheme.

You can find more information on this via the NHS Test and Trace privacy notice

We will carry out checks with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), for verification reasons, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax reasons and with your employer. We will not share your data with other organisations or individuals outside of the council for any other reason.

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because self-isolation payments are subject to tax. If you are self-employed, you will need to declare the payment on your self-assessment tax return.

We may use some automated decision-making to determine if you are eligible to access funds. This means that a decision may be made by automated means, without any human involvement.

Your rights under the Data Protection Act 2018 allows you to object to any automated-decision making used in this process. If you do, there may be a significant delay in the processing of your application.

We never sell your data to third parties or use it for marketing purposes without your consent. All information is processed in accordance with the council’s data protection policy

If you wish to request any changes to the way your data is used for the purposes of processing this application, including the withdrawal of consent, you can do so under GDPR. For further information please visit the council’s data protection policy.

If you do withdraw your consent, we will not be able to continue payments to you. Your consent is necessary to establish your eligibility and to authorise any payments made.

In submitting an application, you must confirm that you have read, understood and consented to your data being processed in this way for the purposes of assessing your eligibility for a self-isolation payment.

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