Skip to main content Skip to footer

Discretionary support scheme

The purpose of the discretionary support is to provide additional, time-limited financial and non-financial support to beneficiaries and their families in order to address immediate needs. The needs that are considered are those that have direct effect on an individual’s independence, have been brought about as a direct result of their infection or its treatment and are otherwise unable to be met.

Applications for all types of discretionary support can be submitted at any time should a beneficiary’s circumstances change. Normally discretionary support payments will only be backdated to the date the application is received by NHSBSA.

Discretionary support available

Income top-up payments

What is an income top-up payment?

 

An income top-up payment is a discretionary monthly payment to increase your household income to help with general living costs. An assessment is made of your household income and if the income is below set thresholds an application can be made to receive payments.

 

Who can apply?

 

To be eligible to apply for an income top-up payment, the applicant must be registered with EIBSS. Everyone registered with EIBSS holds a unique reference number and will be:

 

  • someone historically infected with HIV and / or hepatitis C from NHS blood or blood products
  • a bereaved spouse, civil or long-term partner who lived with an infected beneficiary  

How to apply

To make a claim you need to download and complete an application form (PDF: 254KB).

Alternatively, we can post an application form to you. To request this, contact us.

How is it assessed?

 

Income top-up payments are means-tested assessments and based on household income. The household income is calculated using all income received by the household, including earnings and benefits listed below:

 

Wages: employed/self-employed

Private Pensions (PP)

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

War Widow’s Pension (WWP)

Maternity Allowance (MA)

War Disablement Pension (WDP)

Income Support (IS)

Widowed Parent Allowance (WPA)

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

Bereavement Allowance (BA)

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)

Local Housing Allowance/Housing Benefit (HB)

Universal Credit (UC)

Council Tax Reduction (CTR)

Incapacity Benefit (IB)

Money from a Trust Fund

Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA)

Money from a charity or voluntary organisation

State Retirement Pension (SP)

Maintenance payments

Pension Credit/Savings Credit (PC)

Money from renting property

Child Tax Credits (CTC)

Vouchers

Working Tax Credits (WTC)

Student Loan

Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit (IID)

Student Finance

 

You must also tell us about any other social security benefits, even if they are not on this list.

 

Income we do not include:

 

EIBSS HIV payments

Disability Living Allowance (DLA)

EIBSS Special Category Mechanism (SCM) payments

Attendance Allowance (AA)

EIBSS Hepatitis C (Stage 1/ Stage2) payments

Carer’s Allowance (CA)

Personal Independence Payments (PIP)

Child Benefit (CB)

                                                                                                                                                               

As part of this assessment we will check that you are receiving all of the help you are entitled to through benefits, tax credits or other sources of means-tested support. We can help you to claim these benefits. If you are entitled to benefits, or other financial support, but do not claim this will be taken into account when calculating your household’s income.

 

Applicants will receive monthly top-up payments and the amount received will depend on the applicant’s status and the outcome of the assessment (see tables 1 and 2 in the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) Income top-up and discretionary support leaflet 2018/19)(PDF 125KB).

 

These payments are reviewed on a yearly basis, but please let us know if your circumstances change at any time.

 

Assessment and verification of household income

 

Each applicant will be asked to submit a signed declaration of their household’s income.

 

This should be supported by either:

 

  • three months’ worth of bank statements

 or a combination of the following as applicable:

 

  • a statement from the person or company that pays the money
  • a court order
  • payslips
  • a full bank statement showing the amount and how often it is paid
  • your annual council tax statement for 2018/19

Discretionary one off payments

What are they?

 

Discretionary one-off payments are a form of financial support that beneficiaries and bereaved spouses/partners may apply for to cover the cost of certain essential, health-related items or services.

 

Who can apply?

 

To be eligible to apply for a payment for a discretionary one off payment, the applicant needs to be registered with EIBSS. Everyone registered with EIBSS holds a unique reference number and will be:

 

  • someone historically infected with HIV and / or hepatitis C from NHS blood or blood products or,
  • a bereaved spouse, civil or long-term partner who lived with a beneficiary

How to apply

To make a claim you need to download and complete an application form (PDF: 132KB).

Alternatively, we can post an application form to you. To request this, contact us.

 

Discretionary one-off payments available for infected beneficiaries

 

Discretionary one-off payment type

Counselling

Respite break

Hospital travel costs (per month)

Hospital travel costs for family during a period of hospitalisation (per month)

Accommodation adaptations (every 10 years)

Accommodation repairs

Mobility aids

Car repairs

Motability deposits (every 3 years)

Dental Costs

Specialist bed and mattresses (every 10 years in line with mattress guarantees)

Signposting – Welfare advice

Signposting – Money advice

Signposting – National Careers Service

Employment training

Funeral pre-payment plan

 

Discretionary one-off payments available for bereaved spouses/partners

 

Discretionary one-off payment type

Counselling

Signposting – Welfare advice

Signposting – Money advice

Signposting – National Careers Service

Employment training

Funeral costs for a primary beneficiary

 

Assessment and paperwork required

 

In addition to the completed discretionary one-off application form, the applicant will be asked to submit the following:

 

  1. confirmation that all other sources of support available such as local authority grants, have been exhausted.
  2. two quotes for each item being requested.
  3. medical supporting letters/recommendations

In all cases, the applicant should check their eligibility with us before committing to any service or expenditure by reading the assessment criteria and paperwork required (PDF: 197KB)

 

Payments for children

What are they and how to qualify?

 

These means-tested payments are to help with the costs of bringing up children of an infected beneficiary.

Dependents are children of an infected beneficiary up to the age of 18 years, or up to 21 if in full time education.

These payments are available to the primary care provider of the child/children and can only be made where a beneficiary qualifies for an income top-up payment.

Who can apply?

 

To be eligible to apply for a payment for children, the applicant needs to be registered with EIBSS. Everyone registered with EIBSS holds a unique reference number and will be in one of the following groups:

 

  • someone historically infected with HIV and/or hepatitis C from NHS blood or blood products,
  • a bereaved spouse, civil or long-term partner who lived with an infected beneficiary,
  • primary care providers of an infected beneficiary’s biological child/children.

How to apply

To make a claim you need to download and complete an application form (PDF: 254KB).

Alternatively, we can post an application form to you. To request this, contact us.

Winter Fuel payments

A one-off winter fuel payment for beneficiaries with HIV and/or hepatitis C will continue to be included in your annual payment schedule and will be paid in December.

 

A one-off winter fuel payment is available to all bereaved spouses/partners registered with us. The one-off payment of £519 will be made in December.  If the bereaved spouse/partner is already registered for support, they would automatically receive a payment as we hold their bank details.  If the bereaved spouse/partner does not receive any regular payments as part of the scheme, they need to contact us directly.

Appeals

If your application to the scheme was unsuccessful, you can appeal the decision.

 

An appeal may be considered for two reasons.

 

If you feel:

 

  • we were incorrect to decide that you were not eligible for a payment under the scheme criteria
  • our decision on a support and assistance payment was not justified on the guidance we provided

 We will not consider an appeal where you are not eligible under current criteria, but disagree with the criteria

 

If you wish to appeal, you should contact us, in writing, within three months of the date on the rejection letter. We may consider appeals received after three months, but only if you can provide a good reason for not contacting us earlier.

 

More information regarding appeals can be found on the website

www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/england-infected-blood-support-scheme

Discretionary support review

Why the review was needed

The England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) has been administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) since 1 November 2017.

 

Before this there were five different schemes which were set up to provide support to beneficiaries. The format of the previous schemes meant some individuals would need to register with multiple schemes to be eligible for the discretionary support payments. This could result in people not being aware of the help available.

 

In order to ensure consistency in the discretionary support we provide, NHSBSA have undertaken and now completed a review of this part of the scheme. The three aims of the review were to:

 

  1. review current discretionary payments and the criteria that was used to issue them.

  2. get input from beneficiaries of the previous discretionary schemes and establish which elements of the former schemes needed to be continued.

  3. create a discretionary support scheme that is consistent for all, with the circumstances for the bereaved to be reviewed separately.

 The review is now complete and we have created a discretionary support scheme based on your feedback and analysis of the best elements of the former schemes.

 

Full details of the scheme can be found in the England Infected Blood Support Scheme (EIBSS) discretionary support booklet. (PDF 431KB)