April 2022 Cost of Living Award

Introduction

The Scottish Government announced in February 2022 that three quarters of Scottish households will receive a £150 payment in a bid to tackle the rising cost of living.

This £150 Cost of Living Award will be only in the form of a £150 credit against council tax to:

  • A person who lives in a dwelling in any Council Tax valuation band, is liable for Council Tax and is in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (CTR);
  • A person who lives in and is liable for council tax for a council tax Band A-D dwelling and does not receive Council Tax Reduction;

In addition there are certain categories of person living in a property exempt from Council Tax who are eligible for the Cost of Living Award but who can’t be given a credit to their Council Tax account because there is no payment due. A payment will be made for people in these categories and we will be contacting eligible people in this category directly to make the necessary arrangements.

Please note that these payment arrangements have been determined in agreement with Scottish Government and are being applied by councils across Scotland. Separate arrangements are being made in England.

Eligibility

Persons in Receipt of a Council Tax Reduction (CTR)

To qualify for the £150 cost of living support payment, a person is required to be in receipt of CTR on Monday, 14 February, 2022 and living in the dwelling to which it applies.  A person in receipt of any amount of CTR, including the second adult rebate, on 14 February 2022 will be eligible.

Persons not in receipt of CTR but living in properties in Council Tax Bands A – D

A person not in receipt of CTR on the 14 February 2022 but living in and liable for the Council Tax for a single dwelling in council tax valuation bands A – D on that date, will be eligible for the £150 cost of living award.

Only main residences will receive an award. Unoccupied properties including second homes will not receive an award.

No award shall be made under this criteria in relation to dwellings exempt from Council Tax, although a person residing in such a dwelling may be eligible under the entitlement conditions described below.

Households Exempt from Council Tax where a cost of living award can still be made

Persons living in dwellings exempt from Council Tax will be eligible for the £150 Cost of Living award. Specifically, persons living in dwellings where:

  • all the occupants are under 18;
  • all the occupants are care leavers;
  • all the occupants are severely mentally impaired;
  • the property is unoccupied because the resident has gone to someone else's home to provide care or the resident receives care elsewhere.

We will contact eligible customers direct to arrange payment of the £150 Cost of Living Award.

People in receipt of Housing Support Services or in Temporary Accommodation

If you are in receipt of Housing support or in temporary accommodation on Monday 14 February 2022 you may be eligible for the £150 cost of living award.

We are currently collating a list of eligible customers that resided in a Housing Support Service or Temporary Accommodation on 14th February 2022 and will contact these customers direct to arrange payment of the £150 Cost of Living Award.

Determining Eligibility

The Council has conducted a thorough review of Council Tax data to automatically identify Council Tax accounts that are eligible for the cost of living award.

Approximately 30,000 identified Council Tax accounts have now received credit.

Some accounts due for award may not have been allocated yet. This includes outstanding change of circumstances where people are moving into or out of properties on or before the key date, 14 February 2022, but where the Council has yet to process the change.

These cases will be sorted as and when they are processed. If you believe that you are eligible for the award and it has not been allocated to your account please contact us at ctax1@argyll-bute.gov.uk for a review. Please  do this before 30 April 2022 when the Scottish Government closes the scheme.

When will the Award be credited?

The Cost of Living Award will be credited to 2022/23 Council Tax bills before the end of April 2022.  Eligible taxpayers will see a credit for £150 on their annual council tax bill reducing their liability for Council Tax in the year. Instalments will be reduced evenly throughout the year with a total reduction of £150 over the full year.

Only one award will be made in relation to any single dwelling.

Payment of the £150 award will only be made in circumstances where the Council Tax account is in credit for the 2022/2023 year or where the eligible party does not have any Council Tax liability to be reduced.

Contact

Council tax accounts are being credited throughout March so don’t worry if you haven’t received this yet. We are working hard to make sure all eligible accounts receive the award.

If you are eligible for the award and you are exempt from council tax or don’t pay council tax, we will contact you directly to arrange payment to your bank account.

For any other enquiries please email ctax1@argyll-bute.gov.uk

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