COVID-19 self-isolating payment scheme

If you have been told by the NHS to self-isolate, either because you have tested positive for COVID-19 or you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive and are not fully vaccinated, you may be entitled to some financial support during your self-isolation period.

Apply for support

How will I know if my application is successful and how much will I receive?

If you are eligible you will receive a payment of £500. This will be paid directly to your bank account and we aim to make payments within 5 to 7 days. Any payment made will be subject to Income Tax.

First right of appropriation of funds

Banks are not allowed to use the self-isolation payment or any other benefit to repay an overdraft.

You can protect your self-isolation payment by telling your bank it should only be used to pay what you request it to pay. This protection is called a 'first right of appropriation of funds order'.

You can use the first right of appropriation on any money being paid into your account. For example, you may want to make sure that your job seekers allowance (JSA) is used to pay your electricity bill and water rates. You will need to tell your bank how to use these payments.

You need to write to your bank at least seven days before your self-isolation/ benefit payment is due, making it clear what you want the payment to be used for.

For example, you may want to instruct your bank or building society:

"On or around October 20, my self-isolation payment will be paid into my current account number 0101010101. I am exercising my first right of appropriation over these funds and wish you to pay the following items from it: £75 standing order payable to my landlord, Mr Smith on the 25th of the month."

Keep a copy of the letter in case there is any dispute later. You may want to ask your bank/building society for a written acknowledgement of your instructions.

If there are any items you no longer want to pay from your account, or which you cannot afford, you should give your bank separate cancellation instructions. This is because the first right of appropriation does not stop the bank paying items as well as those you have listed.

If you do not cancel these items, your bank may return the items as unpaid, which they may charge you for. However, payments from your account to re-pay a loan with the same bank cannot be cancelled.

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