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Discretionary self-isolation payments

Discretionary Support Payment Scheme

If you are not receiving one of these benefits but are on a low income and self-isolation will cause you hardship, you may still be entitled to a payment of £500 under the Discretionary Support Payment Scheme. Please see details for this scheme under the heading below.

A discretionary payment of £500 can be made to individuals who:

  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have tested positive for COVID-19
  • have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app because they have been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and are not fully vaccinated
  • have responded to a message from NHS Test and Trace and have provided any legally required information, such as details of their close contacts
  • are employed or self-employed
  • are unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
  • are experiencing financial hardship, proof of income, expenditure and capital will be required

In addition, the discretionary payment is for people:

  • 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
  • who are on low incomes and will face financial hardship as a result of not being able to work while they are self-isolating.

The Council will have the discretion to consider applications from individuals who do not meet the above criteria, but who can demonstrate they are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the requirement to self isolate. Proof of income, expenditure and savings will be required in these cases.

Parent / guardian applications if your child needs to self-isolate

A parent or guardian of a young person who is required to self-isolate may be eligible for a payment if they live in England and meet the following criteria (even if they are fully vaccinated):

  • they are the parent or guardian of a young person in the same household who is self-isolating and need to take time off work to care for them
  • they are unable to work from home and will lose income;
  • the young person has:
    • tested positive for COVID-19 and is aged 15 or under, or aged 25 or under with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan
    • been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 (by NHS Test and Trace, their education or care setting or the NHS COVID-19 app), is aged 18-25, is not fully vaccinated and has an EHC Plan
  • the young person normally attends an education or care setting; and
  • the parent or guardian meets all the other criteria for a discretionary payment.


You will need to supply the following information which can be uploaded with your application:-

  • notification from NHS Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate
  • your unique ID number as provided by the NHS Test & Trace
  • a recent bank statement
  • proof of employment or, if you are self-employed, evidence of self-assessment returns, trading income and proof that your business delivers services which cannot be undertaken without social contact.
  • proof of loss of income from your employer
  • proof of hardship will be established by the income and expenditure form we will ask you to complete, we will issue this to you by email.  You will also be asked for proof of capital.


You may face prosecution if you have manipulated or falsified your position in order to obtain these payments, including failure to self-isolate which puts others at risk. Any payment made as a result of fraud may be subject to claw back, as may any grants paid in error.

The Government is supporting Staffordshire Moorlands District Council to make the necessary checks to ensure payments can be verified and have been made correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions