The government has announced a new £500 million Hardship Fund so local councils can financially support people. Sunderland City Council has announced the following additional financial support for residents.

  • The support for working age residents, will be based on those residents who receive support via the Council's existing Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme
  • The LCTS scheme is based on a claimant's specific financial circumstances, so the support will differ from case to case
  • The extended scheme started on 1 April 2020 and will provide up to £150 of extra support. If you are an existing recipient of LCTS and your financial position has not changed, you do not need to claim this additional support which will be shown on your bill as Council Tax Discretionary Relief
  • The council has re-issued council tax bills to over 20,000 current working age claimants on the LCTS who will benefit

If you currently receive LCTS and your circumstances have changed OR if you think you will now be eligible for LCTS, please make a claim as soon as possible. Details can be found at: https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/housing-benefit-council-tax-support

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Council Tax Discretionary Relief?

The government announced a new £500 million hardship fund to support working age residents currently receiving support through our existing Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme. Council Tax Discretionary Relief is the name of this financial support for residents.

Why have I received a new bill?

You didn't need to apply for this discretionary relief. You'll receive a letter if you're a working age resident in receipt of LCTS. This change will be shown as Council Tax Discretionary Relief on your new bill. Your new bill will show how much you'll need to pay for this financial year.

What if my circumstances change?

As your council tax support award is based on your current circumstances, you may receive revised bills across the year if your income or other circumstances change which could lead to the amount of discretionary relief changing. We will be in touch again if this happens.

What if I have a credit on my account?

Some residents may now have a credit on their bill as a result of the discretionary relief award. We are working on processing refunds for credits of £10 and over. This is to prevent low value cheques being issued which would require a visit to your bank in order to pay them in. If we already hold your bank details (for example if you pay by Direct Debit) the refund will be paid into your bank account. If you have received a bill showing a credit of under £10 we will offset your credit against the next amount of council tax you have to pay.