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See our section on support for self-employed people facing financial hardship. if you fall into this category.

Self-isolation due to health reasons

You may be entitled to help through benefits if you need to self-isolate because:

  • You have coronavirus
  • You have coronavirus symptoms, for example a high temperature or new continuous cough
  • Someone in your household has coronavirus symptoms
  • You've been told to self-isolate by a doctor or NHS 111

You may be entitled to benefits if you have to stay at home due government advice on coronavirus.  please use our updated Benefits Calculator tool to see what help you can get.

You can find what the current NHS advice is here:

No one in my household is sick

If no one in your household is sick (and you have not received advice from NHS 111 or a doctor that you need to self-isolate) please read our page on people experiencing financial hardship because of coronavirus. Coronavirus and social distancing

Also see our Frequently Asked Questions section at the bottom of this page.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

If you are an employee who needs to self-isolate, and you are not working, you should get statutory sick pay from your employer. You can only get this if you usually earn more than £118 per week.

You will get this from day-one of your self-isolation.

People on zero hours contract can still get Statutory Sick pay if they meet the conditions.

You claim Statutory Sick Pay from your employer. Read more about Statutory Sick Pay.

It is possible your employer may also pay you contractual sick pay, but you will need to check the terms of your employment contract.

Employment and Support Allowance

You may be able to get New-style Employment and Support Allowance:

  • If you are a self-employed person self-isolating on government advice and not working, or
  • If you are an employee self-isolating on government advice and not working and you usually earn less than £118 per week

You will get this from day-one of your self-isolation. New-style Employment and Support Allowance is based on your national insurance contribution record. This means you will need to have been working for most of the period between April 2017 and April 2019.

People who need to claim ESA because of coronavirus will not have to produce a fit note.
We have information on ESA and how to claim.

Universal Credit

You could get Universal Credit if you are self-isolating on government advice  

  • If you don’t qualify for Statutory Sick Pay or Employment and Support Allowance; or 
  • you need additional help on top of Statutory Sick Pay or New-style ESA.

There is a five-week wait before you get your first payment of Universal Credit. However, you can get help from day one through a Universal Credit Advance Payment.  Advance payments have to be paid back, either out of your Universal Credit payments or, if you stop claiming Universal Credit, from your earnings.

People who need to claim Universal Credit because of Coronavirus will not have to produce a fit note.

Universal Credit is claimed online.

Self-employed claimants on Universal Credit who are required to stay at home or are ill as a result of coronavirus will not have a Minimum Income Floor  (an assumed level of income) applied for a period of time while affected

People who claim Universal Credit because they are sick with coronavirus or are self-isolating on government advice will be treated as having Limited Capacity for Work. This means they will be entitled to a work allowance.

Face-to-face Health Assessments for Benefits Suspended

If you claim PIP or you claim ESA or UC because you have an illness or disability that affects your ability to work, you normally have to attend a face-to-face assessment.

Claimants on sickness and disability benefits will not be required to attend face-to-face assessments for three months from 16 March 2020.

New claims will be accepted as normal.

Jobcentre appointments suspended

The DWP has suspended all face to face appointments at Jobcentres for three months from 19 March 2020. Jobcentres will still remain open for those who need appointments, but the DWP is aiming to help most people online and over the phone.

Grants Search

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

Last updated: March 20 2020

Coronavirus Information

My child's school is closing due to the coronavirus outbreak. What can I do?

The government has announced that schools will be closing for the majority of students from 20 March 2020.

Children in the following groups will still be able to go to school if their parents choose to send them:

  • The children of key workers
  • Children receiving support from social services
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children with EHCPs​
  • Young carers

If you need to take time off work to care for your children, you should check your employment rights on the ACAS website.

What if I am well but my employer tells me not to work because of the coronavirus outbreak?

This will depend on your contract and is an employment law issue. You may be able to get advice from ACAS on this: You will not be entitled to SSP.

What if I have been in contact with someone with coronavirus and don’t want to go to work and risk infecting my colleagues and customers?

You will only be able to get special help under the coronavirus rules if you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS advice. You can find the current NHS advice here:

What if I am not getting any customers in my self-employed business because of the coronavirus?

You may be able to claim Universal Credit, but you will not be entitled to any special support because of the coronavirus outbreak. You may have the minimum income floor applied to your claim, or you may be required to look for full time employment.

I’m on a zero-hours contract, will I get paid if I’m told to self isolate?

If you are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and you usually earn at least £118 per week you should get Statutory Sick Pay even if you are on a zero hours contract.

What if I am homeless with no income so can’t self-isolate and need funds for accommodation?

The government has not published any guidance for what you should do if you are homeless and develop coronavirus symptoms. It would be best to contact your local authority for advice. You should do so by telephone if at all possible.



Please read the latest government guide if you are affected by the virus

Government Guidance for Coronavirus