To apply for Hardship or Discretionary Council Tax Relief (DCTR) you should be:
- a resident of London Borough of Barking & Dagenham or placed in temporary accommodation outside of the borough by our homeless team
- for the DCTR scheme hold a current live Council Tax Account
- affected by rising living costs including food and utility price increases
- have taken steps to maximise incomes available to you via claiming Council Tax Support, Housing Benefit or Universal Credit and all other benefits or support to which you may be entitled
All applications will be treated individually on their own merit under all relevant schemes.
Discretionary funding schemes in most cases should be seen as a short-term and temporary fund to allow customers who face a variety of challenges to find alternative solutions.
The schemes will work in conjunction with the Homes & Money Hub to support the residents across a broad range of services. This will include referrals of applicants to services such as Job Shop, Budgeting and Debt advice, Adult Learning, and any other relevant service as applicable for further advice and ongoing support.
We usually only make one award every 12 months, and this could be either a one-off payment or an ongoing award for up to 26 weeks as deemed appropriate. The award can be issued by phone text payment (ATM withdrawal link), direct payment to utility providers, council tax/rent accounts or landlords and in exceptional circumstances only a BACS payment into your nominated bank account.
The level of payment will be decided by the Council. The schemes are discretionary, and the claimant does not have a statutory right to payment or appeal however if requested we will review the decision.
If Discretionary funding is awarded, we may provide budgeting advice and work with you the customer and develop an action plan to move towards your affordable long-term solution.
Before you submit your application, make sure you complete the form in full and provide all evidence needed (as indicated on the evidence checklist in the application form) to support your claim and avoid delay. If you fail to provide evidence needed in support of your application, your claim will be refused.
Evidence will include but is not limited to:
- details of all household members and
- reasons for applying and what you are applying for
- two months of full bank statements for all accounts held for you and any resident partner (not mini statements)
- proof of household income and list of all household expenses
- proof of debts (loans/store cards/credit cards or debt agreement)
- proof of current rent or mortgage costs (and any arrears)
- recent utility bills (including proof of utility arrears/debts)
In addition, if applying for household items:
- evidence of damaged/broken items or why new items are required