Residents who are already in receipt of council tax support do not need to apply for this.

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
  • need further financial help to meet the difference between the council tax liability and the council tax discount scheme

Council tax support exceptional hardship award

A discretionary hardship payment is a way of helping you if the council tax support you get is not enough to pay your council tax.

They are special payments, which come from a separate cash limited fund. 

The award

There are no set criteria for deciding whether you can have a discretionary hardship payment other than that you must be in receipt of council tax support.

Each application is treated on its own merits. We will consider things like:

  • the amount you get in council tax support and the amount you must pay
  • any efforts you have made to reduce your council tax liability
  • your financial and medical circumstances and of anyone who lives with you
  • your income and expenditure and of anyone who lives with you
  • your savings and investments and any held by anyone else living with you
  • if you have any exceptional circumstances
  • the amount of money we have available in the fund when we consider your application
  • any other special situations

The amount of the discretionary hardship payment

We will let you know how much we have awarded and the period we have given it to you for.

You may not get as much as you need to pay your full council tax. The award may not be for as long as you would like.

If I don’t get an award or my award has ended, can I apply again?

If you are refused an award or have been awarded discretionary hardship payment and the award has ended, you can make a new application. This will not guarantee an award as your claim will still have to go through the decision-making process.

I don’t agree with your decision, what do I do?

There is no right of appeal to an independent tribunal. However, you can ask us to look at our decision again and another decision maker will look at your application.

You can ask for a review if:

  • we have refused your award, or
  • we have awarded a reduced amount