COUNCIL officials in Bolton are said to have turned down more Covid self-isolation payment bids than any other GM borough.

Thousands of people across Greater Manchester forced to self-isolate have been denied £500 coronavirus test and trace support payments.

But a report produced by the Local Democracy Reporting Service has found more were turned down in Bolton than anywhere else regionally.

Bolton Council turned down the most number of applicants for the standard scheme, with 1,953 people proving unsuccessful in accessing payments. 

Just 28 oer cent of applicants in the borough were successful in getting the £500 support, it has emerged.

Councils in the region have been responsible for handing out grants to help people with the financial burden of having to isolate after contracting Covid-19 or being in contact with an infected person.

The government-funded payments are designed to support people who are employed, self-employed or on benefits who lose earned income because they cannot work from home and cannot claim statutory sick pay.

But figures reveal that by the end of February, more than 10,000 people in the region had been turned down for the main test and trace support payment scheme – 41 per cent of those applying. 

A further 8,264 applications for discretionary support payments were also refused across Greater Manchester, with just 13 per cent of people successfully accessing support. 

The discretionary support payments are awarded by local authorities to people who met most of the criteria for the £500 support payments but are not in receipt of benefits.

To be eligible, residents had to be on low incomes and suffer ‘financial hardship’ as a result of self-isolating, and must have been told to isolate by NHS Test and Trace or through the app.

Low income is classed as earning £17,000 a year or less for an individual, or £26,000 for a couple, with an earnings disregard of £3,567 per child. 

Rochdale Council also turned down 1,868 applications, while the authority that paid out most frequently – Tameside – rejected just 176 applications. Manchester City Council rejected the most number of bids for the discretionary support payments, 2,221, followed by Rochdale.