Sheffield City Council is supporting those who claim Council Tax Support with an additional £6million pounds towards payments.
As part of its response to the coronavirus, the Government grant has been awarded to assist those in receipt of Council Tax Support, with further reductions to their payments.
In addition to existing reductions a further reduction for working age households of up to £150 per household will be applied.
Those who are already in receipt of council tax support will not have to make a further claim, the additional £150 reduction will be automatically applied.
Councillor Terry Fox, Deputy Leader at Sheffield City Council said: “Our existing Council Tax Hardship Fund exists to support those on low incomes and prevent households getting in to arrears. Under this scheme we’re able to reduce payments considerably.
“However, current circumstances have placed increased financial pressure on many people who now need additional help with their payments. As well as those already claiming Council Tax Support there are now thousands more people struggling to pay because they cannot earn a living.
“This extra funding means we can help Sheffield’s most vulnerable residents and those who have found themselves in this uncontrollable situation, at this time of great uncertainty. The last thing people need right now is the added worry of financial hardship.
“It is important that those who are still receiving their usual income and can afford to pay their council tax carry on doing so. The collection of council tax payments is essential in making sure we can continue to deliver the vital services that are keeping the city going. By increasing the level of support we can offer to those in receipt of Council Tax Support, rather than offering a citywide payment holiday, we can make sure this funding is allocated to those who need it most.
“I urge anyone who is struggling to get in touch straightaway, put in a claim, don’t let it get to the point where you’re unable to cope. We are doing everything we can to support people through this difficult time and we want to help all those in need.”
In Sheffield there are currently just under 28,000 working age households, who are receiving Council Tax Support.
Sheffield’s Council Tax Support scheme limits support to 77% of a working age applicants council tax liability. All working age Council Tax Support recipients will pay at least 23% of their council tax.
This means that a single working age applicant will pay at least £217.81 to their council tax and a working age family will pay at least £290.42.
As part of the Government’s Council Tax Hardship Scheme, Sheffield City Council will reduce the council tax liability for all working age Council Tax Support recipients by a further £150.00.
After this award, most Working Age Council Tax Support recipients will see their council tax liability reduce to at least £67.81 for single applicants and £140.42 for families.
As a result of the Coronavirus, nationwide there has been 1.2m new claims made for Universal Credit, and more than 1m households have requested a 3 month mortgage holiday.
It is anticipated that there will be a significant increase in the number of households who will be awarded Council Tax Support in Sheffield in 2020/21. Each of these households will be granted the additional £150 reduction in their Council Tax, as part of the Government funded Council Tax Hardship Scheme.
Council Tax Support can be claimed online
Anyone struggling to pay their council tax should contact the council at firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional support may be available for those who are still struggling to meet their reduced Council Tax payments. Claimants can apply for additional assistance from the Council Tax Hardship Scheme at www.sheffield.gov.uk/dhp.
Find out more about Universal Credit at https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.