From tax reduction to self-isolation support: budgeting this winter

Many firms are very strapped for cash, says KBL Picture: GETTY IMAGES/ISTOCKPHOTO

Some households could be eligible for a council tax reduction or a discretionary housing payment - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As winter financial pressures begin to take hold, we asked what Ipswich Borough Council can do to help struggling families. 

Our There With You This Winter campaign recognises the financial challenges you face during the cold winter months, aiming to raise awareness and provide support to those struggling. 

Ipswich Borough Council has help for those struggling to pay rent or council tax, as well as support for anyone unable to work because they've been asked to self-isolate due to Covid-19. 

A spokesman for the council shared five ways they offer support to low-income households in Ipswich. 

  1. Help with rent is normally met through Universal Credit Housing Costs but customers who are of pension age or are working-age, living in supported or temporary accommodation, can still claim housing benefit from their local council
  2. Council Tax Reduction (CTR) is now a local reduction scheme decided by local councils and is not a benefit payment. Any CTR you are awarded will reduce the amount of council tax you have to pay and you could receive help if you are on a low income, if you are working and in addition to any Universal Credit you may be entitled to. 
  3. In special circumstances, local councils can make a discretionary housing payment to help with rent. This help is available both to customers in receipt of Housing Benefit and Universal Credit Housing Costs. 
  4. Council Tax customers are able to spread their annual payment over 12 monthly instalments to assist with household budgeting. If you are finding it difficult to pay your council tax it is important that you let us know as soon as possible. You can contact the council tax team on 01473 433955 
  5. If you are on a low income and are unable to work because you have been told by NHS Test and Trace that you have to self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child/children who have been told to self-isolate by their school or childcare setting you may be eligible for a lump sum payment of up to £500

The spokesman added: "If you are already in receipt of either housing benefit or Council Tax Reduction, it is important to tell us if your circumstances change as this may affect the amount of benefit you are entitled to.

"Please remember that changes that increase your entitlement are only taken into account from the date you tell us about them."

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter