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Shielding/Vulnerable to Covid-19

If you're shielding or vulnerable to Covid-19, find out what help might be available to you

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Work

Shielding has been reintroduced across the whole of the UK for people who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable to coronavirus.

The government advises that you should work from home if you can. If you need additional equipment to enable you to work from home, you may be able to get help from the Access to Work scheme.

Employers can put employees who need to shield on furlough

People who are advised to shield and who cannot work from home may be able to get Statutory Sick Pay of £95.85 per week. You can only get Statutory Sick Pay if you usually earn at least £120 per week. 

If you are shielding and cannot work from home, and you cannot get Statutory Sick Pay, you may be able to get New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). To be entitled to New Style Employment and Support Allowance, you have to have paid enough national insurance contributions in 2018/19 and 2019/20.  

You can get other benefits alongside Statutory Sick Pay or New Style Employment and Support Allowance. Use our Benefits Calculator to check what other help you can get.

Benefits 

If I don’t go back to my job, can I get benefits?

If you leave your job voluntarily without a good reason, your benefits can sometimes be reduced at the beginning of your claim. This is called a sanction.

There is no one definition of what is a ‘good reason’. When deciding this, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) should take into account your health, any impact of the job on your physical and mental health, and your caring responsibilities.

If you do get sanctioned for leaving your job, you might be able to challenge this. You should get advice.

You shouldn't resign from your job just because you are shielding.

Will I have to go into the jobcentre if I claim benefits?

If you make a claim for benefits, you might have to go for a meeting at the jobcentre. This is unlikely to be required while under a lockdown or in a high-tier area.

 

Related information

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) is a benefit for people aged 16 – pension age that helps with the additional costs of living with a disability.

Attendance Allowance is a benefit for people aged over pension age that helps with the additional costs of living with a disability.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a benefit for people aged under 16 that helps with the additional costs of living with a disability.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) is a benefit for people whose illness means they can’t work and who have paid national insurance contributions in the past 2 years.

Universal Credit is a benefit which tops up people’s incomes to help them have enough to afford their basic needs.

Grants

To find out what help may be available from grant giving charities, you can use the Turn2us Grants Search

Turn2us Grants Search

Advice and Support

Turn2us is unable to offer advice on individual situations. To find an adviser in your area to discuss your situation with you can use our Find an Adviser.

Find out what your employer should be doing to make sure your workplace is safe

Updated 5 January 2021

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Look for funds that might be able to give you a grant and/or other types of help.

Use the Grants Search tool