Walsall Council has begun an email/text/voice message campaign to alert residents to the assistance that is available to them regarding their council tax during the coronavirus crisis.
The text and voice message direct residents to the council website which contains information on the help available, while the email contains the information that is on the website.
The assistance is either via the council tax reduction scheme (a means tested reduction) or a deferral of instalments.
To avoid scams, residents are told to only access the support via the links provided in the messages which lead to the Walsall Council web site.
Residents may be able to claim a council tax reduction if they have a low income and their savings are below £6,000 for working age people, and below £16,000 for pensioners.
Speaking about the campaign, Deputy Leader of Walsall Council, Cllr Adrian Andrews said:
“We fully understand the pressure that the current crisis is putting some families under and that making ends meet can be a challenge. We’re contacting our residents to outline the support available. If you are not eligible to claim benefits but need some support temporarily while your income is disrupted, you can apply for one of a number of deferment options.”
Once residents have completed the forms fully, they will be contacted within 14 days.
The text will read:
Message from Walsall Council: Please visit www.walsall.gov.uk/ctax for information on how we can support during this time with your council tax.
The email will read:
This email is about what help Walsall Council is able to give regarding your council tax
You may be able to claim a council tax reduction if you have a low income and your savings are below £6,000 for working age people, and below £16,000 for pensioners. Please click link for further information https://go.walsall.gov.uk/benefits.
There are questions on the form that ask how you have been impacted by the current economic situation and we will use this information to see how else we can support you during this difficult time.
If you are not eligible to claim benefits but need some support temporarily while your income is disrupted, you can apply to have one of the following options applied to your council tax payments:
If you currently pay your council tax in instalments due April to January, you can spread the year's charge over 12 months; April 2020 to March 2021.
If you currently pay your council tax in instalments due April to January, you can have instalments due June 2020 to March 2021.
You can have April and May instalments spread over your remaining payments from June 2020 onwards.
If you pay your council tax by direct debit, please let us know as much in advance of your direct debit being called as you can. Your direct debit instruction is sent to the bank in advance of your direct debit being called so we need you to contact us immediately. If we cannot apply the change straight away, it will be reflected in your next instalment.
If you wish to take up one of the above options please fill out our online request form using the link below with your council tax details and what option you would like to request. Please ensure that you complete the form fully with your contact information and only submit the form once. We will be in touch with you within the next 14 days.
To apply for any of the above please visit https://go.walsall.gov.uk/ctax.
Trouble paying your council tax bill?
Have you had a reduction in your income? You may be able to qualify for Council Tax Reduction and additional support which will be assessed at the same time. Please click https://go.walsall.gov.uk/benefits for further information.
If you are struggling making payments towards your account, please complete and income and expenditure at www.IEHub.co.uk. We are able to create arrangements that work for you and your current financial situation