Discretionary Support self-isolation grant
You may be able to get help while you are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic
Help with money problems while self-isolating due to COVID-19
You may be able to get a Discretionary Support self-isolation grant to help with the cost of living (for example, to buy food, toiletries or cleaning materials or to top up your fuel meter) if, you or any member of your immediate family has either been diagnosed with COVID-19 or are self-isolating in line with the latest guidance published by the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being.
You would not need to repay the grant.
To be eligible for a Discretionary Support self-isolation grant:
- you or a member of your immediate family must have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or told to self-isolate in line with guidance published by the Regional Agency for Public Health and Social Well-being
- you must have an extreme or exceptional situation, or be in a crisis which puts your or your immediate family’s health, safety or well-being at significant risk
- you must live in Northern Ireland
- the crisis must have arisen in Northern Ireland
- you must be over 18, or at least 16 if you do not have any parental support
- your and your partner’s (if you have one) total annual income after deductions must not be more than £24,382.80 (Some types of income are not taken into account when assessing this figure and reductions can be made for expenses such as housing costs)
- any money including savings you or your partner have may be taken into account when making an award
How you apply for a Discretionary Support self-isolation grant
You will need to give the following information:
- your National Insurance number
- information on you rent or mortgage
- details of your income
- details of your savings
- your account details
Any grant made will normally be paid for the period from the date you apply to the day before you are due to get your next income payment (for example, the day before your next benefit payment or wage is due to be paid).
You may be able to get a grant to cover a longer period if your next income payment would not be enough to pay your essential living expenses.
Discretionary Support is also available to full-time students who are suffering financial difficulties as a direct result of COVID-19.
You can apply for more than one Discretionary Support self-isolation grant if you continue to experience financial difficulties as a result of self-isolation.
Apply to the Finance Support Service
How the grant is paid
The grant will be paid into the account you gave Finance Support details of.
If you are unhappy with a decision
If you are unhappy with Finance Support’s decision on your application, even if you are awarded a loan or grant, for some or all of what you requested, you can ask for a review within 28 days of the decision.
To do this, contact the Finance Support Service
Whilst you wait for the decision from the review, you can still receive any loan or grant you were awarded, and the review cannot reduce the amount you were awarded.
If you are unhappy with the decision from Finance Support’s review, you can ask for the Discretionary Support Commissioner, who is independent of the Department for Communities, to carry out another review.
You can advise the person on the phone who is giving you the decision you want to do this, or you can contact the Finance Support Service in writing within 28 days of your decision.
More information can be found at The Office of the Discretionary Support Commissioner