Cost of Living Payment

As part of the 2022-23 Scottish Budget announcement on the 10 February 2022 the Scottish Government agreed additional support for low-income households to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis. All Local Authorities have been asked to deliver the new £150 Cost of Living Payment by the end of April 2022.

Eligibility

The Cost of Living payment will be paid to:

  • All persons in a Band A to D or Band E with a Disabled Band Reduction, property who are
    • Resident and Liable for Council Tax on 14 February 2022, including those exempt (all bands) where:-
      • All occupants under 18
      • All occupants care leavers
      • All occupants severely mentally impaired
      • Property unoccupied because the resident has gone to someone else's home to provide care or the resident receives care elsewhere
      • 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)

OR

  • Resident and liable on 14 February 2022 for Council Tax in a Band E - H property and in receipt of 'Means Tested' Council Tax Reduction (Benefit)

OR

  • Not eligible as listed above, however, in receipt of a Housing Support Service on the 14 February 2022.

Eligibility for the award is based on the criteria above.  No award is to be made for, exempt properties (except those listed above) or for empty or second homes, and only one payment per property.

Payments

Based on the qualifying criteria there are around 53,000 households within Dumfries and Galloway who will be eligible for the Cost of Living £150 payment. To ensure this can be paid by the deadline this payment will be credited to the 2022/2023 Council Tax accounts. Given the number of eligible cases it has not been possible to send physical payments for this award.

Eligible customers need do nothing, the payment will be included in the 2022/2023 bill which will be issued week beginning 14 March 2022.  

There are a small number that will need to be manually updated and may therefore not be detailed on the 2022/2023 bill.  Eligible households will be contacted as these are updated. 

If anyone feels they should be eligible and they have not been notified by 30 April 2022, please call.030 33 33 3005 or  submit an online contact form .


Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible?

Q - What is the Cost of Living Payment?
A - 
As part of the Scottish Government 2022-23 Budget announcement on the 10 February 2022, additional support for low-income households was announced to help tackle the cost-of-living crisis.  All Local Authorities have been asked to deliver the new £150 Cost of Living Award by the end of April 2022.

Q - Who is entitled to the Cost of Living Payment?
A - 
Anyone who as at 14 February 2022:
- Lives in and is the liable person (named person on the bill) for Council Tax in a Band A to D property
        OR
- Lives in and is the liable person (named person on the bill) for Council Tax in a Band E to H property and in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (Benefit)
        OR
- In any Band and exempt from Council Tax under the following categories:
        - All occupants are under 18
        - All occupants are care leavers
        - All occupants are severely mentally impaired
        - Property unoccupied because the resident has gone to someone else's home to provide care or
          the resident receives care elsewhere
        OR
- Not eligible as listed above, however, in receipt of a Housing Support Service on the 14 February 2022

Q - My property is a second / holiday home do I qualify?
A - No. In order to qualify for the award, you must be living in the property and be the person who is liable to pay Council Tax on it.  As the property you refer to is a holiday home it is not your sole or main residence.  In this circumstance you would not be eligible for this award.

Q- My property was empty on 14 February do I qualify?
A - No empty properties do not qualify, only properties that are occupied as a permanent home and meet the other criteria are eligible.

Q - How do I check my council tax band?
A - Your council tax band is shown on your bill or you can check your band online via the Scottish Assessors Association website (saa.gov.uk) .

Q - I live in a Band E - H home and am the Council Tax payer. I am in receipt of Council Tax Reduction will I get the award?
A - Yes. If you are in receipt of means tested council tax reduction the award can be made regardless of the Council Tax band your home is in.

Q. I am a full-time student and have student exemption. Will I get the award?
A - No. The award does not apply to properties with student exemption. Students can apply for support through the Fuel Insecurity Fund, which is distributed through third sector organisations. Further information on extra financial support for students (discretionary funding) is available from studentinformation.gov.scot .

Q - I live in a Band A-D property with my partner who is a full-time student. I am liable for the council tax, and I get a 25% student disregard in respect of them. Will I get the award?
A - Yes. The award is payable to all occupied band A-D properties,

Q - I live alone and have a severely mentally impaired exemption and am the person named on the Council Tax bill. Will I get an award and how will it be paid?
A
- Yes.  You will be entitled to the award. It will be credited to your 2022/23 council tax account and will show on your  bill as a credit. Once you get your 2022/2023 bill you will be able to request a refund to be paid directly into your bank account or as a cheque.

Q - I live in a room in a house in multiple occupation. I don't get a council tax bill. Will I get the award?
A
- No. You must be resident and be the person who is liable to pay council tax on the property in order to qualify.   We will be in touch about your award if you receive a housing support service as a condition of living in your property.

Q - I live in a tied cottage,  my employer/landlord pays the Council Tax on the property, and they are named on the bill. Will I receive the award?
A
- In order to qualify for the award, you must be living in the property and be the person who is liable to pay Council Tax on it.  In this circumstance you would not be eligible for this award.

Q - I live in and pay Council Tax on a Band E house. I don't have Council Tax Reduction (Benefit) but I do have a disabled band reduction so I'm billed as band D will I still get the award?
A
- Yes. The award covers those circumstances.

Q - I get a discount because I am the sole occupier is this the same as a Council Tax Reduction?
A
- No, Council Tax Reduction is a discount based on a means-tested assessment of the household income.  To qualify for the Cost of Living payment in a Band E-H property the household must have this in payment as at 14 February 2022.  If you think you may be entitled to a Council Tax Reduction due to low income please apply via the Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit pages of this website .


How will I be paid?

Q - How will it be paid?
A -
 If you have a Council Tax liability for 2022/23 this will be credited to your account and will show on your annual bill as "cost of living payment or transfer".  This will reduce the amount you have to pay towards your council tax (including water and wastewater charges if applicable).

Q - I am in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (Benefit) how do I get paid?
A
- The Cost of Living payment will be credited to your Council Tax account.  If the £150 credit exceeds your Council Tax liability including your water and waste water charge and you are in credit you can be refunded the credit balance by completing an online refund form at www.dumgal.gov.uk/ctaxrefund  or by phoning 030 3333 3005. The refund will be made direct to your bank account if you provide bank details or by cheque.

Q- Do I need to apply for the payment?
A
- No, the payment will be automatically credited to your account as part of your new 2022/2023 Council Tax bill that will be issued in March 2022.  If it does not appear on your bill the Service is working through cases that need to be manually updated,  if you have not received notification of the payment by the end of April 2022, contact the Local Taxation Team on 030 3333 3005 or email counciltax@dumgal.gov.uk.

Q - What will happen if my Council Tax account for 2022/23 is in credit after the £150 Cost of Living Payment is made?
A -
 You be able to request a refund of any overpayment using an online form at www.dumgal.gov.uk/ctaxrefund or by calling us. The refund will be made direct to your bank account if you provide bank details or by cheque.

Q - Can I have the award refunded if my council tax is not overpaid?
A
- No. The award has been made to reduce your council tax for the 2022/23 year. If you are in financial hardship and are struggling to meet your living costs, support is available through the Scottish Welfare Fund.  Information and the link to make an application can be found on the Scottish Welfare Fund section of this website . If you are not already in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (benefit) and on a low income you can also claim via the Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit pages of this website .

Q - I qualify for the award, but I have fallen behind with my payments for 2021/22. Will you take my award to cover the arrears?
A
- No. The award will be made to your 2022/23 account. If you would like us to make a payment arrangement to help clear your arrears you can contact us on 030 3333 3005 to discuss how you would like to do this.

Q - I qualify for the Cost of Living Payment. My Council Tax account is currently overpaid for 2021/22 what will happen to that money?
A
- Your overpayment will be transferred to your 2022/23 account as well. Your annual bill will show a 'Cost of living payment or transfer' for the award plus the overpayment and that will reduce the amount you have left to pay for the rest of the year. If this results in your 2022/23 bill being overpaid, you can request a refund of the overpaid amount using an online form at www.dumgal.gov.uk/ctaxrefund .

Q - I am jointly liable for the Council Tax on my property will we get 2 payments?
A - No, it is only one payment per property


What happens if I moved on or after 14 February 2022?

Q - What happens if I was eligible for the payment as I was living in a house in Dumfries and Galloway on 14 February 2022 but move out to another property after this date?
A
- If you move to another property in Dumfries and Galloway and have a Council Tax liability there the payment will be transferred to your new 2022/2023 account. If you move outwith the Dumfries and Galloway region the money will be refunded to you.

Q - I moved out before 14 February 2022, and moved to another property not in Dumfries and Galloway, and I have received my Dumfries and Galloway bill for 2022/2023 with the £150 credit.  What should I do?
A
- Contact the Council Tax section, by completing the Change of Address form online  or by calling 030 3333 3005 as soon as possible,  and provide details of your move.  The credit will be removed from your account, and you should contact the Local Authority you reside in to check your entitlement there.  If you have moved to another Scottish Local Authority, you should be eligible for the £150 on your Council Tax account in that area.  If you have moved to England / Wales or Northern Ireland, you will need to speak to that Local Authority regarding what you may be eligible for. 

Q. I moved into a property in Dumfries and Galloway before 14 February 2022,  and I should be liable for Council Tax but haven't notified the Council Tax section yet. What should I do?
A
- Contact the Council Tax section, by completing the Change of Address form online or by calling 030 3333 3005  as soon as possible,  to provide details of your move. Once your new Council Tax account has been created the Cost of Living Payment will be applied to your 2022/23 account.

Q - I moved to Dumfries and Galloway on 18 February 2022. I was living in and paying Council Tax elsewhere in Scotland on 14 February 2022, and meet the eligible criteria. How will I get my payment?
A
 - You will need to contact Local Authority for your previous address, they will be able to confirm your entitlement and how they will make any payment.

Q - I'm moving house within Dumfries and Galloway before 1 April 2022, and am eligible for the payment based on my current occupied property, but am moving to a higher banded property and will be the Council Tax payer. Will I still get an award?
A
- Yes. Your entitlement is calculated on your circumstances on 14 February 2022. As you were occupying and paying the Council Tax on a Band A-D property on that date you will be entitled to the award. The payment will be transferred to your new account for 2022/23 when it is created and an updated bill issued for your new address.

Q. I live in a Band E - H property, and was in receipt of Council Tax Reduction (Benefit) on 14 February 2022 but my entitlement stopped after 14 February 2022. Will I still get the award?
A
 - Yes it is based on your circumstances on 14 February 2022 so you will still qualify.

Page last updated: 14/03/2022
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