Announced by the Scottish Government on 8 March, a low income pandemic support payment of £130 will be paid to low income households to help towards increased costs and lost income due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Your household will be eligible for the payment if you received Council Tax Reduction (CTR) in April 2021 or if you do not pay council tax for one of the following reasons:
- all the occupants are under 18, or
- all the occupants are care leavers, or
- all the occupants are severely mentally impaired, or
- your home is unoccupied because you have gone to someone else's home to provide care or you receive care elsewhere, or
- occupants are accessing Housing Support Services and/or living in temporary accommodation or a refuge.
How to apply
If you are eligible, the award is automatic but you will need to submit an online payment application form to tell us how you would like to receive the payment.
You will need to confirm your details and supply your Council Tax Reference Number and your National Insurance Number. You can only submit an online form with an eligible Council Tax Reference Number.
Please note that, where entitlement is based on the receipt of CTR, the form should be completed by the person awarded CTR.
The closing date for application is Friday 15 October 2021.
Apply for low income pandemic payment
You have the option to receive a direct payment to your bank account, and we will need your bank details to do this. You will also need to upload a screenshot of your bank statement showing your name, address, account number and sort code to allow us to verify your details and ensure your payment is paid to the correct account.
Alternatively, you can have the payment credited to your council tax account to help towards any current liability or arrears.
We will not employ third parties to gather information on our behalf. If you have reason to believe that any person contacting you does not work for the Council please contact us immediately. You should never give out your bank details to someone you do not trust.
You must have been registered for council tax in East Ayrshire during April 2021. If you lived in another council area during April, you should apply to the first council area that you lived in. For example if you lived in North Ayrshire until 14 April then your payment should be made by North Ayrshire Council.
Please note that only one payment will be made to each eligible household.
Am I eligible?
If you are not already receiving CTR and believe you may be eligible, or your circumstances match the qualifying criteria but you have not yet informed us, you can do this using our online application form.
If your application is backdated to April you will be eligible for the pandemic support payment.
Note that CTR awards can only be backdated if you can provide good reason for not applying earlier.
Apply for Council Tax Reduction
Closing date and payment dates
You should submit your online form as soon as possible and before the closing date of Friday 15 October 2021.
Due to the high volume of requests expected it may take up to four weeks to issue your payment. Please do not contact us until that time period has passed.
Payment will be made by BACS to your nominated bank account the week commencing 6 September 2021 and weekly thereafter until the scheme ends on 31 October 2021. If you choose to have your payment credited to your council tax account this will be done within 14 days of your payment being awarded.
If you are eligible for the payment but do not tell us how you would like to receive it we will credit it to your council tax account after the scheme closes on 31 October 2021. We will notify you of this.
Treatment for tax and benefit purposes
If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other capital totalling over £6,000. If you are concerned that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing in to your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.
This payment is in addition to support delivered through the Family Pandemic Payments.
Delivered by Citizen’s Advice Scotland, the free Money Talk Team service is available to help ensure you receive all the support you are entitled to.
This service can be accessed by calling 0800 085 7145, or you can find out more on the Money Talk Team website.