Council Tax Help
After the shock of the utility rises – the next thing currently hitting our doormats this week in East Devon are our council tax bills. Following social media as we do, we have not been surprised to see the number of people expressing distress about the cost of living rises in general and just how much our local council tax has risen. You can contact us for Council Tax Help.
However, we just want to make sure that everyone in East Devon knows that there is an additional entitlement for some people to help in the form of a council tax reduction from East Devon District Council. There may even be discounts and exemptions depending on your family circumstance.
https://eastdevon.gov.uk/council-tax/council-tax-discounts-and-exemptions-information/exemptions/ gives details of what these might be and of course you can always chat to us at Citizens Advice East Devon if you want to see if you are entitled.
Council Tax Rebate
Please remember as well that there is a council tax rebate of £150 that is going to be paid to residents living in properties between Band A and D this year (E with a disablement reduction) and there are some funds available for other households that do not get this automatically. This is a discretionary scheme and EDDC will be publishing their latest information on this page, https://eastdevon.gov.uk/media/3724018/government-council-tax-rebate.pdf
Council Tax Reduction Scheme
East Devon has a council tax reduction scheme which helps anyone liable for paying council tax on their home who is on a low income, you might be out of work, on state benefits or you might be working.
The scheme which works on income bands – mean that for a single person you could be earning up to as much as £310 a week (net) and still get some money off your council tax.
It is a really good idea to get into the habit not just doing regular benefit checks but also checking the council page as you may find that you qualify for some help.
Council tax reduction is not a benefit in itself, it has to applied for and it might not be automatically granted. Everyone who is working age must pay something towards their council tax, but there are big discounts. You may be entitled to pay just 85%, 80%, 55% or 25% of your bill.
Applicants with savings over £6000 will not qualify. Those who are on ‘legacy income based benefits’ will automatically be placed in the 85% band. These include income support, income based employment support allowance and income based job seekers allowance.
To support people in work, the council disregard the first £25 of all earnings. Carer’s allowance and any support component from Employment Support Allowance is disregarded in full.
Exceptional Hardship Fund
There is also an Exceptional Hardship Fund for people with council tax reductions but are also experiencing exceptional financial hardship.
This is a one off discretionary payment looking at individual circumstances. It’s made as a one off payment directly to the council tax account thus reducing the amount of that you need to pay.
Budgeting better with Direct Debits
You can also change when you pay your council tax to make it easier to budget. For example you might choose to pay over 12 months or on a particular day of each month.
If you are not certain that you can afford to pay your council tax, please get in touch.
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Council Tax Help
By Sheran Taylor.
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