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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-34899
Asked by: Bob Doris, Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 2 February 2021

Question

To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting people to self-isolate.

Current status: Answered by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 2 February 2021


Answer

We currently provide a range of support to people through our self-isolation support grant and through the National Assistance Helpline, and the Local Self-Isolation Assistance Service which are delivered through our partners in local government.

We are extending the eligibility criteria of the self-isolation support grant to anyone who needs to self-isolate, if they earn the Real Living Wage or lower. This will significantly increase the number of people eligible for the grant and help remove any financial barriers to isolating.

Eligibility will also be extended to any other applicant who is entitled to a council tax reduction because they are on a low income. The Grant will also be available to people with caring responsibilities for someone over 16 who is asked to self-isolate, where the carer themselves meet the other eligibility criteria.

We will also lengthen the period during which people can apply for the grant. They will now be able to apply within 28 days of being told to self-isolate.

These changes will take effect from Tuesday the 16th of February to allow local authorities time to change their systems and application forms but eligibility will be backdated to today. They will therefore benefit people who are self-isolating from now. This means an additional 200,000 people will be eligible for the grant if they are asked to self-isolate.

In addition, I intend to increase awareness of the support available to those self-isolating through a national and local publicity campaign so we reach people and make them aware of the help that is available if they need to isolate.