In March 2020, the council was issued with £699,000 of Government funding to help those experiencing financial hardship as a direct result of Covid-19. As a result of having Government funds available, eligible residents have already received up to £150 credited to their council tax bill. This support is now being extended to help more people who have found their finances negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

As part of the Discretionary Council Tax Reduction scheme, residents can apply for extra support if their income has been affected by Covid-19 and their Council Tax account has been in arrears for either the 2020/21 or 2021/22 billing years, or if they are struggling to make payments.

Councillor Peter Wilding, Cabinet Member for Finance at Chichester District Council, said: "We are pleased to be able to offer this extra funding, so that we can continue to help those that are most in need in our district during the pandemic and beyond.

"I'd urge anyone who is in financial difficulty and is worried about paying their council tax bill to see if they are eligible for Council Tax Reduction, by visiting our council tax reduction web page.

It's important to note that residents receiving Universal Credit are not automatically signed up for this scheme.

"Residents who apply for this scheme and are still worried about paying their bills, or who are already receiving this support, can apply for extra help through the Discretionary Council Tax Reduction Scheme on our benefits web page.

"The important thing is to get in touch with us if you are struggling financially or if you are unsure what you are eligible for. Our friendly team will do everything they can to help you by explaining all of the support that is available to you. The easiest way to contact them is by email at benefits@chichester.gov.uk. You can also call 01243 534509, but please be aware that when lines are busy callers may have to wait longer than we would like.

"You can also visit our help with finances web page, which highlights the financial support on offer, including: help with paying rent, help accessing support if you are eligible for the self-isolation support scheme, and for a referral for help with food, energy bills and essentials."

Date of release: 2 July 2021

Reference: 4015