COVID-19 Test and Trace Support Payments

Discretionary scheme payment

If you don't receive benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you exceptional financial hardship, you may still be entitled under a special discretionary scheme. You can apply for the discretionary scheme using the same online form.

Eligibility for the discretionary scheme

The discretionary scheme will apply to residents who:

  • have been told to stay home and self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, either because they have tested positive for coronavirus or have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • are employed or self-employed; and
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result.

In addition, the discretionary payment is for residents who:

  • are not currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit; and
  • are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.
  • have no recourse to public funds if they meet the rest of the criteria 

To be eligible for the discretionary scheme your household has to be on a low income. We will take your joint income into account when working out eligibility. ‘Low income’ would be considered £22k for a family or couple, £15.4k if you are single. If your income is more than this, you will not be eligible.

If we find that demand on the discretionary scheme is significantly lower or greater than expected the scheme criteria may be altered to improve delivery of the intended outcomes.

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