Local council tax discount hardship scheme
We have a discretionary hardship fund. Support from this fund is available for households where financial hardship has been caused by changing circumstances. This change will have created a council tax bill that they are unable to meet.
We define financial hardship as being unable to pay for the essential needs of yourself and your family. There is no right of financial support.
To be able to apply for a discretionary council tax hardship payment you must:
- be entitled to council tax discount, or
- have received a discount in the previous year and no longer receive a discount but face financial hardship due to the changes to the council tax reduction scheme from 1 April 2017
- need further financial help to meet the difference between the council tax liability and the council tax discount scheme
How to apply
To apply, please fill in the application form.
You will need to print, and send it to the address given on the form.
Applications can also be made in writing, in person or over the phone and must:
- clearly state the change in circumstance that has occurred which has generated financial hardship and difficulty to meet the council tax liability
- provide information on household income and expenditure
We will make an assessment of your needs, your available resources and your income as part of its decision making on your claim. We may need you to provide more details or evidence to support your claim.
We will aim to make a decision on your claim within 2 weeks.
A letter will be sent to you explaining the:
- council’s decision
- reasons why the decision was made
- details of how much award you have been allowed if you are successful
We will not make any award to you if:
- you have other assets that could be used to pay your council tax
- there are other benefits you may be entitled to, but you have not applied, or your claim has not yet been assessed
- your situation is expected to improve soon and you will then be able to pay your council tax
- there is no money left in the discretionary hardship budget
Because this is a discretionary award, there is no legal right to appeal if you disagree with our decision. However, you may ask us to review our decision. You can do this by writing to us, giving your reasons why you disagree with the decision within 1 calendar month of the date of the award letter.
Please note that it is a condition of your application for council tax discretionary hardship is that you tell us about any change in your financial or family circumstances which may affect your entitlement to the award. If you fail to tell us anything relevant, you may be prosecuted for fraud.