Financial support

Find out about financial support available to residents

Test and Trace Support payment

A new Test and Trace Support payment was introduced by the Government on 28 September to help those who are required to self-isolate and therefore unable to work, resulting in a loss of income. 

If, from 28 September, you have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have recently tested positive for Coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you may be entitled to a support payment of £500. An application for payment should be received no later than 14 days after the period of self-isolation ended.

Who will be able to apply for the payment?

To qualify for a payment under the Standard Scheme, you must be:

  • asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace because you have recently tested positive for Coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive;
  • employed or self-employed;
  • unable to work from home and will lose income as a result;
  • currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.

An application may be considered under our Discretionary Scheme. You would still be required to meet conditions 1-3 above for an application to be considered.

Payments will be subject to income tax, but not national insurance contributions, and therefore should be declared in your next tax assessment. If you are PAYE your tax will be adjusted by your employer.

Test and Trace Support payments are disregarded for the calculation of Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support.

The scheme will be available until 31 March 2021.

If you have any questions please email, or call our Customer Service Centre on 023 8068 8000.

Help with your council tax

We can help and support you if you are struggling to pay your council tax due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

If you are worried about your ability to meet council tax payments, we have various measures in place to support you, including payment reductions and deferrals. Please call 023 8068 8470 or email to discuss the options that are open to you.   

Council tax support

Council Tax Support is a payment made directly to your Council Tax account which reduces the amount you have to pay. You may be eligible for Council Tax Support if you are on a low income or claiming benefits.

If you are considering claiming Universal Credit due to loss of income and also require council tax support, you will need to make a claim for council tax support directly with us. Please do not delay in doing this.

Hardship grants

The government has also announced a new hardship fund to help vulnerable residents to pay their council tax. Working age residents who use our current council tax support scheme will receive up to an additional £150 reduction to their bill in line with the government’s hardship fund criteria. You do not need to apply for this payment - households eligible for this reduction will automatically be re-billed over the coming weeks. 

Residents can also apply for additional help from the Hardship Fund this is called a ‘Council Tax Hardship Payment’. Any resident liable to pay Council Tax who is struggling to pay their Council Tax can apply . A claim for Council Tax Support must be made first to ensure take up from this fund . You do not have to be successful in your claim for Council Tax Support for a claim to be considered.

Council Tax Hardship Payment Form

Any award of CTHP will be credited directly onto your Council Tax account reducing the amount you have to pay.

To find out more visit our council tax support pages, speak with one of our advisors on 023 8068 8470 or email Call volumes may be higher than usual, so please bear with us. 

Support from central government 

You can find further information about financial support measures announced by government on the website.