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Apply for a Council Tax Hardship payment

Are you struggling to pay your Council Tax? 

You may be able to apply for a Council Tax Hardship payment

If you are experiencing exceptional financial hardship, then you may be able to claim some discretionary assistance with your Council Tax. This is not a cash payment, but a credit to your Council Tax account.

Our budget for this is limited so the help available will be for a set period and amount.

The hardship payments are not payments of Council Tax Reduction and are funded by the council from our own funds (with a contribution from the Office of the Fire, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire). 

The decision to make a hardship payment including how much to award is at our discretion. This means we can make the decision not to pay you a hardship payment.

Full details can be found in our Exceptional Hardship fund and policy.

Before you apply for an exceptional hardship payment

Before applying, you must:

  • demonstrate you have taken all reasonable steps to resolve the problems that are causing you to apply for the reduction
  • apply for any other types of Council Tax reduction you might be able to get.

Exceptional hardship fund payments cannot be awarded:

  • for any other reason, other than to reduce Council Tax liability
  • where an authorised officer from West Northamptonshire Council considers there are unnecessary expenses
  • if the means tested assessment shows that there is no financial hardship
  • to reduce any Council Tax Reduction recoverable overpayment
  • to cover Council Tax arrears prior to the financial year 2021-2022
  • to cover a shortfall caused by a Department for Work and Pensions sanction or suspension which has been applied because the Council Taxpayer has turned down work, interview or training opportunities

Please note: As a condition of any award you may be signposted to our Debt and Money Advice team or third-party partners who can offer support, advice and guidance to help you manage to pay finances on an ongoing basis.

Applying for a Council Tax hardship payment

We may ask you to provide evidence to verify your situation which could include asking for evidence of your income and expenses.

Your claim will not be processed until the evidence requested is provided.

A decision on your claim will be made within one month of receipt of the application, but this may be extended if you are asked to provide further evidence. Then a decision will be made within one calendar month of receiving all the evidence.

Last updated 14 December 2023