Chelmsford City Council

Coronavirus advice for Council Tax and Benefits

The coronavirus outbreak presents a significant challenge to people around the globe. 

If your income has been affected by coronavirus and you need help with your rent or Council Tax payments, we want to provide you with some information to help you at this difficult and uncertain time.

For more wide-ranging advice regarding your finances, you may find this Money Navigator Toolproduced by the Money Advice Service helpful.


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If you need to defer a Council Tax payment due to financial difficulty, you can contact us. 

Upcoming payments

If you have a Council Tax payment due soon and would have financial difficulty with this instalment, you should contact your bank directly to stop the payment of this direct debit.

However, if you are able to make this payment but still need help, you should not cancel your direct debit. Instead, you should contact us to talk about changing the amount and timing for future instalments.

We have made a payment of up to £150 to your Council Tax account if you:

  • are entitled to Council Tax Reduction (also known Council Tax Support or Council Tax Benefit) and,
  • are treated as a working age household

You do not need to apply for this. We make the payment automatically and it is adjusted if your Council Tax liability changes.

If your liability goes down, we may reduce the hardship payment. If your liability goes up, we will increase the hardship payment, but only up to £150 for the 2020/2021 financial year.

You will receive a new bill from us when we have done this which will show the payment included in your Council Tax Reduction amount. 

If you are of working age and become entitled to Council Tax Support during the year, we will automatically make the same hardship payment.

If your income has stopped or reduced as a result of coronavirus, you may be eligible for Council Tax reduction.

You can do a calculation and make a claim on our website.

If you do not qualify, we may be able to move your Council Tax instalments or make a payment arrangement to make your bill more affordable during this difficult time. You can contact us for advice on how we can assist you.

If you are of working age and need assistance with your rent costs, in most cases you will need to make a claim for universal credit. You can do this on the GOV.UK website.

There are some exceptions where Housing Benefit may still be payable you can check on theGOV.UK website.

If you are of pension age, you can make a claim for Housing Benefit.

If you can't pay your Council Tax monthly or you have missed some of your payments and can't bring your account up to date, you can request a request a payment arrangement for your Council Tax.

If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and have been told to self-isolate, you may be entitled to financial support. 

You can find out more details and how to apply for a self-isolation payment.

If you receive Housing Benefit or the Housing Cost Element of Universal Credit, you may be eligible for a discretionary top-up. You can find out more and apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment

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Last updated: 20 April 2021

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