Health and wellbeing Coronavirus - Benefits and money

Hardship payment for working age people receiving Council Tax Support

Last updated at 10.34am, Wednesday 20 May

The Council has announced an almost £7.5 million package of support available to Manchester residents facing financial hardship during the coronavirus outbreak.

More than 34,000 people who already receive Council Tax Support will have a further £150 chopped off their bill for 2020/21.It means, for example, that someone living on their own in a Band A property and receiving full Council Tax support would have nothing to pay this year.

Please don’t contact us about this - we are busy working through the detail and we will contact affected households by mid-June

Your Questions answered

Who will get it and when will I know I’m entitled to the payment?

All working age people who receive Council Tax Support towards their 2020/21 bill will receive a payment of £150 towards the balance on their 2020 council tax account.  

Joint-tenant households can expect to receive a new bill confirming the £150 reduction and any balance to pay by 5 June 2020.

Single and family households can expect to receive a new bill confirming the £150 reduction and any balance to pay by 19 June 2020.

We have temporarily suspended direct debits until we can make these changes.

The difference in the time it will take in applying the £150 reduction for joint-tenant households and single and family households is due to the system update required to enable single and family household payments.

Do I have to claim it?

No, you don't need to make a separate claim or ask us for this payment. We have details of who will be entitled to the payment. In the next few weeks we will be updating the accounts of households that are entitled to the payment and we will send you a new bill.

Do I have to pay anything now and how will my payments be arranged after the payment? 

Even after we have paid the £150, most people will still have an amount to pay towards their council tax bill. We would advise you to pay what you can until we send the new bills that we expect to send in June.  When we set up your payment arrangement we will set a payment plan that will clear your remaining balance by March 2021. 

We have temporarily suspended direct debits for all households whose bills we expect to be cleared by the credit.  We expect that this will be the case for people living alone (receiving a single person discount) in a band A property and receiving maximum Council Tax Support

If you are struggling to pay your council tax due to the Corona Virus and want a payment break, we may be able to agree to a special payment plan so that the Council Tax due for 2020/21 is split over 9 months, from July 2020 to March 2021, meaning that in some cases you will not have to pay anything until July. Apply to split your council tax payments over 9 months.

What about previous years? 

This payment is only paid to the current council tax bill for 2020. If you owe anything for previous years this will stay the same.
 
If you owe council tax from previous years and you already have a payment arrangement in place, it is important that you stick to this and pay what you have agreed.
 
If you have arrears and want to discuss them with us, please send us an email to ctax.enquiries@manchester.gov.uk and we will get back to you shortly to discuss them with you. We will work with you to agree a plan that you can afford.

What if it only leaves a small amount to pay- will you send me a bill for pennies?

We will pay this money to your account after we have paid your Council Tax Support. If this leaves you with a very small amount to pay, usually less than £1, we will cancel this and just send you a bill showing your account is fully paid.

We expect that this will be the case for people living alone (receiving a single person discount) in a band A property and receiving maximum Council Tax Support. For 2020, we expect that these people will not have anything to pay.

I am a pensioner, am I going to get this payment?

No, this scheme is for working age households only. This is because all working age people have to pay at least 17.5% of their council tax even if they are on a very low income. The Council Tax Support scheme for pensioners is much more generous and we pay up to 100% of your Council Tax.
 
If you receive Council Tax Support and you are still struggling to pay what you owe, please contact us by emailing ctax.enquiries@manchester.gov.uk and we will discuss your account with you and see if we may be able to offer any further help

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