COVID-19 Council tax hardship fund
Information about financial support for residents, including reduced council tax
As part of its response to COVID-19, the government has provided local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area.
In Brighton & Hove we have received £2.3m and the government has given us guidance on how we should spend it.
Most of the money will be used for people who have successfully claimed a reduction in their bill this year through our Council Tax Reduction scheme 2020/21. These people will receive an additional reduction to their council tax bill. This means they will either:
- have nothing to pay
- have their bill reduced by up to a further £150
Any money left over will go to boost the discretionary funds that are being used to help households in hardship because of Covid 19.
Your council tax
Your council tax pays for essential services to be delivered to all residents in the city, so it is really important that you continue to pay if you can.
About council tax reductions
Because of COVID-19 I have applied for Universal Credit. Does this mean I will get my council tax paid automatically?
No, you will need to claim a council tax reduction separately. If you apply, and are entitled to a council tax reduction for any period during 2020/21, you will automatically get up to an extra £150 hardship fund payment. Make a claim.
I have not claimed Universal Credit but my income has gone down. Can I claim a council tax reduction?
Council tax reduction is for low incomes, not just Universal Credit, so you may be able to claim a reduction. Check your eligibility and make a claim.
You can also use the government’s benefit calculator to find out if you’re entitled to any further help.
Is the council still collecting council tax for the next 3 months?
Yes, but we are taking steps to ensure that we support our residents through the period of lockdown and through the following weeks when the city is getting back on its feet.
COVID-19 – changes to Council Tax collection
From April 2020 to June 2020 we will not actively pursue any council tax arrears for households affected by COVID 19:
- if we notice households falling into arrears, we will write to them setting out the support available
- we have cancelled all action taken through the magistrates courts until July
- we may be able to agree to special payment plans where council tax due for 2020/21 is split over nine months, from July 2020 to March 2021. This means that, in some cases, residents will not have to pay anything until July - contact us for more information
- if you are struggling financially we can offer advice and assistance.
However, if your circumstances haven’t changed, it’s really important that you continue to pay.
If I am waiting to hear about a council tax reduction claim or a change I’ve requested, what should I do about payment?
We would advise you to make a sensible decision regarding what you can afford to pay in the interim.
If I try and contact you will I get a response?
Like many public services, we are currently providing a limited service while we try to adapt to the lockdown. However, we are working on ways of improving our response.
Please be patient when trying to contact us by phone or e-mail.
This web page will updated regularly to give residents the latest information.