Millions of households struggling financially due to the ongoing Covid pandemic can get their council tax bill reduced by £150 under a new support scheme.
The council tax hardship fund, which was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the March Budget, is available to people of working age who receive council tax support in England, Wales and Scotland.
The UK government expects the fund to support around 2.3 million vulnerable people and is still currently open for people to apply.
Who is eligible?
The council tax hardship fund is worth £500 million, with the cash distributed to councils at the beginning of this financial year.
The fund is intended to provide council tax relief to vulnerable people and households who have been hardest hit by the pandemic. It is designed for those who are on low income or claiming certain benefits, with those who are of working age and receiving council tax support - also known as a council tax reduction - eligible to receive the funding.
Each local council is responsible for operating its own council tax support scheme, so the amount of support given across the country may vary and will depend on certain factors.
If you are on a low income or claim benefits, your bill could be reduced by up to 100 per cent.
You can apply for the council tax reduction if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working. What you get depends on:
where you live - each council runs its own schemeyour circumstances - for example, your income, number of children, benefits and residency statusyour household income - this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s incomeif your children live with youif other adults live with you
How to apply
To apply for the tax reduction, you simply need to enter your postcode on the government website.
You will be directed to your local council website, where you will then need to follow the application instructions.
If you have already had a council tax discount of £150, you will not receive another again this year.
If you are eligible for the hardship fund for the 2020/21 tax year, you should have received a new council tax bill during the spring. If you have a bill of less than £150, you likely won’t pay any council tax at all.
If you are yet to receive a revised bill, it is worth contacting your local council to ask if you are eligible.