Council Tax Hardship Fund
In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Government has allocated funds to local councils to support residents financially. The fund is to help people to pay their council tax bill.
People of working age who receive Council Tax Support (CTS) will receive a maximum of £150 per household, on top of their existing CTS. Where the bill is already below £150, it will be reduced to zero. You may be entitled to Council Tax Support if you are on benefits or a low income. To find out more or to apply, please visit our Council Tax Support web page.
Hardship fund FAQs
- Who is eligible for the hardship fund?
Anyone who is of working age and receives Council Tax Support during the 2020/21 financial year. You are not eligible if you are part of a couple where either of you are of pension age.
- Do I need to apply for the hardship fund?
No, you do not need to do anything. We will make the reduction using our records that show you receive Council Tax Support. The reduction will be awarded automatically.
- Will I still receive anything from the hardship fund if I claim Council Tax Support later in the year?
As long as the COVID-19 hardship fund remains open, you will still be entitled to up to £150 off your Council Tax bill. This is as long as you are due to pay £150 in Council Tax from the point your claim starts, to 31 March 2021. If you are due to pay less than this, your remaining bill will be reduced to zero.
- Will the fund remain open for the whole financial year?
The fund is limited by government grant and is intended to help households with the effects of COVID-19. The council retains the discretion to cease additional payments when the fund is exhausted, or when the impact of COVID-19 has reduced.
- I'm still in financial hardship due to the COVID-19 crisis, what do I do?
You may be entitled to further discretionary relief. A Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) could help with your rent, if you pay it, and receive other benefits. You may also qualify for a . If you are experiencing financial hardship as a result of coronavirus, call the Council Tax team on 01775 761161 or visit our problems paying Council Tax web page.
- Why has my annual Council Tax bill not shown this additional reduction?
This extra help was not announced in time for annual Council Tax bills which were sent in March. If you are entitled to Council Tax Support and are of working age, revised bills for 2020/21 were sent out in August. You do not need to contact us as the bill was issued automatically. The hardship reduction will be displayed on your bill as "Council Tax Discretionary Relief" - if you have already received an additional discretionary payment from the council, it will appear in addition to this.
- I've received a new Council Tax bill, what has happened to my monthly instalments?
Following the hardship payment being granted, your instalments have been adjusted to take this into account, as well as any payments you have already made to us for 2020/21. Instalments have been recalculated over the remaining months of your payment cycle. If you have not paid anything since April, your overall balance will reduce by the amount of the hardship payment. However, if you have made no payments to your account, you may see little or no change in your instalments.
- What happens in the case of joint and several liability for Council Tax, for example if I am a joint owner or tenant?
People who are joint owners of joint tenants are jointly and severally (individually) liable for the one Council Tax bill for the dwelling. Where individuals are jointly and severally liable for Council Tax, and any of the individuals are entitled to Council Tax Support (CTS), the reduction of £150 will be applied to the Council Tax liability for the whole property (regardless of whether one or all of the liable parties are entitled to CTS). This reduction will be applied from the earliest date of CTS entitlement for any of the liable parties.
- I reach pension age part way through the year, how does this affect me?
If you were in receipt of Council Tax Support before you became a pensioner you are still entitled to receive a maximum of £150 hardship payment.
- Will I receive the hardship payment if I move to South Holland from another local authority?
Yes, as long as the fund remains open a new award may still be considered. If you have already received the full £150 hardship payment from another council you will not receive a further payment from us. If you received a payment of less than £150 from another council we will ask you to provide evidence of this and award the difference.
- If my Council Tax liability changes, either by increasing or decreasing, how does that affect me?
Your hardship payment will only reduce if your liability ends partway through the year and leaves you with less than £150 to pay. If this is the case, your bill will be reduced to nil and you will not need to make any more Council Tax payments.