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 if you received Council Tax Reduction (CTR) during 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
- you are accessing Housing Support services and/or living in temporary accommodation or a refuge.
How to apply
If you were eligible for the payment, you will have received a letter to notify you of this. The closing date for online and phone applications was 31 October 2021, however, this has now been extended to 5 November as we are aware that a small number of households may not have received their letter before this deadline. You should call us immediately to register if this applies to you. If you did not apply or tell us how you wanted to receive the payment we will credit your council tax account within 14 days of the extended scheme closure date.
Am I eligible?
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 your payment should be made by North Ayrshire Council.
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
Due to the anticipated high volume of requests it may take up to 14 days to process your application. Please do not contact us until after that time period has passed.
Payment will be made by BACS to your nominated bank account within 7 days of your application being processed. If you choose to have your payment credited to your council tax account this will be done within 14 days of the scheme closure date on 31 October 2021.
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 within 14 days of the scheme closure date.
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.