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Financial support with self-isolation

Find out if you are eligible for financial support while you self-isolate.

A new Government payment is available to support those who are working and must self-isolate.

The support is a one-off £500 payment.

Find out what other help and support is available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out what help is available if you are asked to self-isolate. 

Changes to who needs to self-isolate from 16 August 2021

  • All fully vaccinated adults aged 18 years and over no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact. This means that you are not eligible for the payment.
  • All children aged 18 years and under do not need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive so parent/guardians are not eligible for the payment.
  • All adults aged 18 years and over must continue to self-isolate if they test positive for COVID-19 even if they have been fully vaccinated. This means that you are eligible for the payment if you meet all of the eligibility criteria.
  • Children under the age of 15 who test positive must still self-isolate (or under 25 with an Education, Health and Care plan - EHC). This means that parent/guardians of these children are eligible for the payment if they need to stay at home to look after them and will lose income as a result.   
  • Children aged 18 to 25 who have an Education, Health and Care plan - EHC and are not fully vaccinated must continue to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact. This means that parent/guardians of these children are eligible to receive a payment if they need to stay at home to look after them and will lose income as a result. 

Who is eligible?

To receive the payment you must be a Lewisham resident who is working or self-employed and meet all of the following criteria:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace within the last 42 days and you're not fully vaccinated. Read more about when to self-isolate and how long for.
  • be unable to work from home and will lose income as a result (furloughed pay doesn't count as a loss of income)
  • be receiving the following benefits: Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

There is also a discretionary payment for those who are working or self-employed and meet both the first two criteria but who do not get any benefits. To get this payment you must either:

  • be in receipt of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or State Retirement Pension (SRP) or
  • have claimed (before self-isolating) one of the seven DWP benefits and are waiting on a decision or an appeal
  • have a gross income of £750 per week or less (including those with no recourse to public funds) and be responsible for paying rent or a mortgage.

You cannot apply for the grant if you have savings of £10,000 or more. You will be asked to provide evidence of this.  


You cannot apply for either payment if you are quarantining after travelling abroad, unless you test positive during the period of quarantine.

How to apply

Apply for test and trace support payments.

Due to a large increase in residents self-isolating there may be a delay of up to a week in processing applications. Once a positive decision is made payments will take 3-5 days to reach your bank account.

You can also ask a friend or family member to apply online for you.

If you have no access to a smartphone or computer and cannot get someone to make the application on your behalf, then please contact the COVID-19 helpline on 0208 314 3535 for support to make an application.

To apply you will need:

  • your national insurance number
  • your full name and address
  • your contact telephone numbers including a working mobile number
  • details of benefits you receive
  • if you are employed, your last payslip
  • if you are self-employed, evidence of tax returns, trading income and proof that your business cannot continue while you are self-isolating
  • your NHS Account ID or the Account ID you have received from NHS Test and Trace. This is not your number from the Isolation Note service.
  • a bank statement that shows your name and address to verify the account we will pay the support payment into.

What happens next?

We will email you to let you know that your application has been received.

If your application is accepted

You will receive £500 by BACs transfer into your bank account within three–five working days of our decision.

The payment will be subject to income tax but not National Insurance contributions. HMRC will automatically collect tax from your pay through your tax code, or self-employed recipients should report the payment on their 20/21 Self-Assessment tax return.

We will give Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs service your application details who will contact you directly. It will not be taxed at the point of payment.

Your bank cannot take the payment to pay your overdraft. Read more about protecting your payment from your bank.

If your application is rejected

We will let you know of our decision. You cannot appeal the decision.

Using and sharing your information

The information you give us here will be processed by Lewisham 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.

Find more information on sharing your information in the NHS Test and Trace Privacy Notice on the NHS website.

You must also consent to our contacting the education or care setting your child attends if you are applying as the parent or guardian of a child. If you do not provide this consent we will not be able to issue a payment to you.

Giving us incorrect information

You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments. This includes failing to self-isolate which puts others at risk.

Any payment made as a result of fraud may be taken back (claw back). Any grants paid by mistake will also be taken back.

The Government is supporting Local Councils to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

We will check:

  • with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for verification purposes
  • with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for tax and national insurance purposes
  • with your employer.

Personal information provided to claim self-isolation payments may be shared with fraud prevention agencies to prevent fraud and money laundering, and to verify your identity. If fraud is detected, you could be refused certain services, finance or employment.

Read more about how our Anti-Fraud and Corruption Team processes information about you.

We will provide information to HMRC about any payments we make because self-isolation support payments are subject to Tax and National Insurance Contributions.

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 allow you to object to any automated-decision making used in this process. If you do, there may be a significant delay processing 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 our data protection policy. Read our privacy statement.

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 exercise your rights under GDPR in writing to the our Data Protection Officer. Find out more about our Data Protection Officer including how to contact her.

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

When you submit your 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.