This page provides you with information about Council Tax Support and the Council Tax Support exceptional hardship fund.
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Preston is called Council Tax Support and can help pay towards your Council Tax depending on your circumstances.
Anyone who has to pay Council Tax can apply, however Council Tax Support is there to help people on low income to pay their Council Tax bill and is assessed by looking at your:
You will not be entitled to Council Tax Support if you have savings of over £16,000 (unless you are in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit)
Once your application has been reviewed the Council will inform you if you have being successful and apply any reductions to your Council Tax bill.
If you are of working age you will pay at least 20% of your Council Tax bill. If you are entitled to Council Tax Support this figure will show as a deduction on your Council Tax bill.
To make a claim you need to complete an application form and provide us with the appropriate proofs.
We need certain information and evidence from you to process your claim as quickly as possible. See our page on What evidence do I need to provide?.
Your application will be processed as soon as possible. You can help to speed up your application by making sure you supply all the right information. To find out what you will need to supply see our page on evidence needed for Housing and Council Tax Support claims.
Yes - you can ask for your Council Tax Support claim to be backdated but it is not guaranteed.
The decision is made based on information you provide and your personal circumstances. See the Backdated benefit page for more information or complete the backdate request form.
After your claim has been assessed you will receive a letter explaining the information we have used to work out the amount of Council Tax Support. If you think the information used is incorrect you can speak to one of our Customer Service Advisors by telephoning 01772 906903, or you can make an appointment to see an advisor at the Contact Centre.
You can appeal to us against the amount of Council Tax you have to pay for either of the reasons below
See the Benefit appeals page for more information.
If you have any changes to your income or savings, members within the household or move address you must inform us immediately of this so that your claim can be updated and the correct Council Tax Support amount awarded.
See the Change in circumstances page for more information.
You must contact us straight away. We may be able to reduce your instalments and give you longer to pay. In certain circumstances we could make arrangements for you to pay your instalments weekly or fortnightly.
An Exceptional hardship fund has been set up by us for those in need of assistance with paying their Council Tax. The fund is intended to help in cases of extreme hardship only. We recognise the importance of protecting our most vulnerable customers and the impact these changes will have and will attempt to protect and support those most in need.
Other discounts and exemptions are not affected by this scheme. See the full list of exemptions and discounts on our Council tax discounts exemptions and reductions page.
If you need any help or advice you can speak to one of our Customer Service Advisors by telephoning 01772 906903, or you can make an appointment to see an advisor at the Contact Centre.
In addition to this our Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice team provide a free and confidential drop in or appointment service offering in-depth advice on welfare benefits and debt.
For those in need of assistance with paying their council tax, an exceptional hardship fund (EHF) is available.
The main features of the fund are:
You must make a claim for an exceptional hardship fund award by submitting an application to our benefits department. The application form is available to download from the downloads section on this page or you can apply using the online form.
You can download an exceptional hardship fund application from from the downloads section of this page. You can also get assistance with the completion of the form by contacting the Contact Centre. The application must be fully completed and supporting information or evidence provided.
Completed forms should be returned to the address at the bottom of the page.
You may be contacted by a member of the benefits team and we may ask you to attend an interview to get all the information we need to decide on whether you can receive a payment and to discuss your claim in more details. We may ask you to provide some evidence to support your request.
This may include:
You should also send us details of the money you have coming in (if we don't already have this as part of your claim) and the expenses you have.
You can apply for an exceptional hardship payment if you are working age and in receipt of council tax support but cannot afford to pay your full council tax. If you delay, we may only pay you from the time you make a claim.