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Covid-19 Council tax hardship fund

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We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone, especially the most vulnerable members of our society.

If you are isolated by coronavirus and need help, please ring 01772 906777 or email support@preston.gov.uk, Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

New Grant funding

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 Preston we have received £1.79 million and the government has given us guidance on how we should spend it.

How are you spending the money?

Most of the money has been used for people who have successfully claimed a reduction in their bill this year through our Council Tax Reduction scheme 2020/21.

These people have received 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

There is no need to apply for this additional support. The awards have now been allocated to individual council tax accounts and amended bills are being issued. 

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

We would like to thank residents who are able to continue to pay their Council Tax as their contribution is helping us maintain essential services.

If your circumstances have not been affected by the coronavirus, please continue to pay your Council Tax as detailed on your bill.

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.

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.

View GOV.UK - benefit calculator

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

Council Tax recovery action will recommence shortly and therefore if you are still struggling financially, you must let us know - please contact us as soon as possible at ctax@preston.gov.uk.

We can agree to a special payment plan and also offer you advice and assistance.  

However if your circumstances have not 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.

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