Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed a new grant for people on low incomes which allows them to receive £500 if asked to self-isolate.
The new Self-Isolation Support Grant will help those who would lose income if they needed to self-isolate, such as those unable to carry out their work from home.
This grant is for those who will face financial hardship due to being asked to self-isolate and will be targeted at people who are in receipt of Universal Credit or legacy benefits, with some discretion to make awards to others in financial hardship.
Applications are due to open from 12 October and will be delivered through the existing Scottish Welfare Fund, which is administered by local authorities.
The SNP MSP for Cunninghame South said: “Not everybody has been able to work from home during this time where we are trying to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, and any period of self-isolation may be financially damaging for households affected by this.
“Financial support for people who are required to isolate will help those on low incomes from being forced to face a choice between abiding by public health guidelines and supporting themselves and their families.”
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Self-isolation can be tough, but it is essential to protect people and reduce the spread of coronavirus. To ensure people do not experience financial hardship as a result of doing the right thing, we are introducing this new £500 grant for people on low incomes who have been told to self-isolate.
“While we continue to press the UK Government for clarity around consequential funding for the support scheme they recently announced, it is essential that we act swiftly so that people who need support are able to access it. I am glad that the scheme has the support of local authorities and that we have a means of delivering it from next month.”
COSLA Community Wellbeing Spokesperson Councillor Kelly Parry said: “COSLA, on behalf of Scottish local government, welcomes this scheme. It will help ensure those who are affected and qualify are looked after and won’t need to go to work, which will help reduce the community spread of the virus.
“Councils have vast experience of providing local support of this type to communities and are the best placed to deliver this measure. We are keen to agree the details with the Scottish Government as soon as possible and look forward to getting much needed support to the people who need it.”
The Scottish Welfare Fund was established in April 2013, to provide Crisis Grants to people facing an emergency or disaster and Community Care Grants to help people establish or maintain a home in the community.