Apply for Self-Isolation Payments (SIPs)

Due to essential maintenance you will not be able to apply for a Self-Isolation Payment on 11 May between 6.30pm and 11pm.

If you have to self-isolate because you have symptoms of coronavirus, or have been in contact with someone who has, it’s really important that you stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.

If this means you can't work and you get any of the listed benefits, or if this puts you in financial hardship, you may be eligible for a one off payment.

The government introduced £500 Self-Isolation Payments to help people who can’t work because they've been told by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate. Parents and guardians can also apply if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

Because of the strict rules, most people aren't eligible to get this payment.  

You have to meet all of the following criteria to get the payment. If you don't meet all of the criteria, we're not allowed to give you the payment.

You can find more information about other help available from our community advice and support hub.

Essential criteria

1. Have you been told to stay at home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either by phone or by the NHS COVID-19 app?

  • if you are staying at home for any other reason, for example because your place of work is closed, or your employer has said you cannot go in, you will not qualify for the payment

2. Have you been given a Contact Tracing and Advice Service (CTAS) reference number by NHS Test and Trace, or by the app?

  • if you do not have a reference number, we cannot give you the payment, only NHS Test and Trace can give you this
  • the reference number will be an 8 digit code, and may look like this - A1H4CHY5

3. Are you either employed or self-employed?

  • if you were not working at the time you were told to self-isolate, you will not qualify for the payment

4. As a result of being told to self-isolate, are you: 

  • unable to work from home, and
  • losing income because you cannot work from home

5. Are you currently receiving, or have you applied for one or more of the following:

  • Universal Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Housing Benefit
  • Pension Credit

You will only qualify for a Self-Isolation Payment if you have answered yes to all 5 questions above.

You must make your application within 42 days of your self-isolation period start date or you will not qualify for a payment.

Payments for parents or guardians

From 8 March 2021, parents or guardians who are not legally required to self-isolate can apply for a Self-Isolation Payment or discretionary Self-Isolation Payment.

Parents and guardians can apply if they need to take time off work to care for a child or young person who is self-isolating.

You can only make one application per child or young person per household.

To qualify for this payment, you must meet the following criteria as well as the 5 criteria points above:

  1. The parent or guardian must be in the same household as the child or young person and needs to take time off work to care for them while they self-isolate
  2. The child or young person who normally attends an education or childcare setting must be either:
    • aged 15 or under
    • aged between 16 and 25 and have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC)
  3. The child or young person has been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, or by their education or childcare setting - this can be evidenced by providing either:
    • the child’s 8-digit Test and Trace ID number - for ages 15 and under
    • a communication from the child or young person’s education or childcare setting to confirm that they have to self-isolate
    • a screenshot of a young person’s NHS COVID-19 app notification to confirm they need to self-isolate and proof of an EHC - for ages 16 to 25

Discretionary payment 

If you do not receive any benefits, we may be able to make a discretionary payment of £500 if you'll face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while you self-isolate. You must still be able to answer yes to questions 1 to 4 above.

The fund available for these payments is limited, so it can only be used to help households who have little means to support themselves during their period of isolation.

Find more information about Self-Isolation Payments on our frequently asked questions page.