East Devon District Council

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Policy Exceptional Hardship Fund policy

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1. Background

This Exceptional Hardship Fund (EHF) policy only applies to hardship applications made before 17 December 2014. After this date, the Council Tax Discretionary Discount and Reduction Policy applies.

The EHF was set up by us to cover the shortfall between Council Tax liability and payments of Council Tax Support.

Every customer who is entitled to Council Tax Support and who has a shortfall is entitled to make a claim for help from the Fund.

The main features of the Fund are that:

  • Exceptional Hardship Fund awards are discretionary
  • Customers do not have a statutory right to an award
  • The Exceptional Hardship Fund Policy is held within the main Council Tax Support scheme
  • Exceptional Hardship Fund awards are not a payment of the main Council Tax Support
  • It is a cash limited fund
  • The Revenues and Benefits Service decides how the Fund is administered
  • Council Tax Support must be in payment in the week in which an Exceptional Hardship Fund award is made or the applicant must have been in receipt of Council Tax Benefit on 31 March 2013.
  • East Devon District Council may decide that a backdated Exceptional Hardship award is appropriate; which could then settle council tax arrears. This would be the only circumstance where the Exceptional Hardship Fund could be used to facilitate payment of council tax arrears.
  • Exceptional Hardship Fund awards cannot be made to settle arrears of Council Tax unless due to an award of backdated Exceptional Hardship as set out above.

In addition to this fund there is a Discretionary Housing Payments scheme which covers the shortfall between rent and Housing Benefit.