The Scottish Government is set to extend the eligibility for the £500 self-isolation grant to include everyone on an income below the level of the real living wage, as well as those in receipt of a council tax reduction because of low income.
People with caring responsibilities for someone over the age of 16 who are asked to self-isolate, where the carer themselves meet the other eligibility criteria, can also receive the grant.
The changes to the grant eligibility will be effective from the 16 February.
Commenting, Highlands & Islands MSP Maree Todd said:
“We know just how crucial self-isolation is in preventing transmission of Covid-19, that’s why it’s so important that we do everything we can to make it easy to do the right thing.
“I welcome the extension of the eligibility criteria for the Scottish Government’s Self-isolation Support Grant which goes further in breaking down the financial barriers linked to self-isolation. It is only right that people on low incomes are given appropriate financial support if they are told to self-isolate.
“We have seen an increase of Covid-19 cases in Orkney during the second wave of the virus, meaning more people will have been contacted and asked to self-isolate. I’m sure this grant will have helped to alleviate the stress associated with self-isolation for many of those, and now with its extended eligibility, it will go on to support even more people.”
“With the wintery weather we have had in the islands recently, this broadening of the support will be very welcome for anyone in Orkney having to stay home for a prolonged period. Heating homes all day if you are usually out working can be costly, so these extra payments should make a real difference.”