There’s still time to apply for discretionary benefit

Published: Monday, 14th November 2022

This is the final week that residents can apply for a Council Tax Discretionary Rebate. Applications for the scheme need to be submitted by 17 November.

The government awarded Oxford City Council £327,300 to be used for the Council Tax Discretionary Rebate Scheme to help households in Council Tax bands E-H who need help with their energy bills. Eligible households include those:

  • receiving part of Council Tax Reduction Scheme to reduce their Council Tax
  • where all of the occupants have a severe mental impairment
  • where all of the occupants are students
  • that receive Carers Allowance
  • that receive the Disabled Persons/Band Reduction for Council Tax.

Any other case that does not meet the above criteria will be considered on its merits and may receive a payment of up to £165.

Qualifying households must normally be liable for Council Tax at the 1 April 2022. Additionally there can be only one discretionary payment per household.

The City Council has also used the discretionary fund to offer “top up” payments to the most vulnerable households in bands A to D who have already received the £150 payment.

But resident who may be eligible must apply for the benefit, and there’s not much time left

“We’re very keen that everyone who is entitled to this benefit receives it. But you must put in an application and time is running out. Every little helps – but this is more than a little, it’s a significant sum. Don’t delay. If you think you meet the criteria get your application in by 17 November.”
Cllr Nigel Chapman, Cabinet Member for Citizen Focused Services

The discretionary scheme payments will be made by 30 November with any residual amount returned to the Government, so the Council is urging anyone who is eligible to claim as soon as possible.

Householders will need to apply using an online claim form for the discretionary payment. Help is available for residents who do not have access to the online portal. For more details on how to apply visit the Council tax rebate to help with your energy bills webpage.

Where householders receive full Council Tax Reduction and have no Council Tax liability or an account in credit, the total amount that could be refunded may be offset against other debts such as owed council house rents.