The chancellor is being urged to replace an increase in Universal Credit with a new type of payment.
A centre-right think tank has suggested Rishi Sunak should replace the £20-a-week increase in Universal Credit (UC) with a new "coronavirus hardship payment"
The suggestion has been made by the Centre for Policy Studies as a way of making it easier to phase out post-pandemic.
The Centre for Policy Studies is regarded as being close to Government thinking.
The Universal Credit increase was brought in at the start of the first lockdown, in March last year.
The payment rise was designed to help struggling families and is due to expire at the end of March.
But Mr Sunak is under intense pressure - including from some Tory MPs - to extend it while lockdown restrictions remain in place.
So far the Chancellor has resisted the calls, insisting he needs to start rebuilding public finances after the massive support the Government has given to nurse the economy through the pandemic.
In a briefing paper, the CPS said it would be "unreasonable" to cut support at a time when lockdown restrictions are creating intense financial pressure for many families.
However, replacing it with a clearly defined temporary measure could offer the Government a way out of its political dilemma.
The report's author, James Heywood, said: "The Government have backed themselves into a corner with the £20 uplift in Universal Credit - it's much harder to take something away once it's in place.
"Replacing the uplift with a clearly defined temporary support mechanism, combined with other reforms, would offer the intended financial support while making it easier to prepare claimants for its eventual withdrawal."
The report said the hardship payments should run for six months, with a further three-month phasing-out period when they would be cut by half.
At the same time, it called for a more generous one-off uprating of UC, which is currently set to rise by just 0.5% in April.
The CPS said a 2.5% increase, in line with the rate being applied to the state pension, would add an extra £100 a year to the standard allowance for a single claimant over the age of 25.