Updated 6 May
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The government announced in the Budget on 11 March that it would provide local authorities in England with new grant funding called council tax hardship fund to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area. The Council was allocated £667,672 council tax hardship funding. The Council has approximately 57,000 households of which over 4,000 are in receipt of council tax support.
How funding is being awarded
Approximately 1,800 working age, existing claimants in receipt of council tax support were given a reduction in their council tax liability, £225,000 has been used to fund this initiative.
New working age customers, who qualify for council tax support, will automatically be awarded a reduction in council tax liability payments. We have estimated that this will cost approximately £100,000, based on the number of new claims which have been submitted and an estimate of future claims; however our modelling is uncertain at this stage.
For both existing and new claimants this reduction in council tax liability payments will continue until March 2021.
The remaining funding will be allocated to new and existing council tax support claimants who may find themselves in particular hardship during 2020/2021.
The government has announced an increase in the local housing allowance from 1 April.
For those customers affected: if entitled to extra benefit payment, this was credited to accounts on Wednesday 29 April.
The government has announced an increase to the additional earnings disregard. This disregard applies to earnings and working tax credits and therefore will reduce household income within the benefits calculation.
For those customers who are currently in receipt of this benefit: if entitled to extra benefit payment, this was credited to accounts on Wednesday 29 April.
If you are in receipt of housing benefits and / or council tax support (not Universal Credit) and your income has been disrupted due to coronavirus impact, please make a declaration of your current income by completing the online change of circumstances form.
Help if you are on a low income
If you need help that is not housing related, the following may be useful for you: