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Cost of Living Support Scheme

On 15th February 2022 as part of the Welsh Government’s Supplementary Budget a package of measures was announced to help people with the cost-of-living crisis.  The package includes £152M to provide a £150 cost-of-living payment to eligible households (the main scheme) and £25m to provide discretionary support for other purposes related to living costs.

The schemes are intended to provide immediate support as Wales recovers from the pandemic and support households to deal with the impact of increasing energy and other costs.

UPDATE – 14th SEPTEMBER 2022

All elements of the Cost of Living Scheme will close at 5pm on 30th September 2022 and no further application to the scheme will be received after this date. The qualifying details for this scheme are shown below:

Details of how the scheme is being delivered in RCT are set out below:

You can also view frequently asked questions about the scheme.

Main Cost of Living Support Scheme

Qualifying Details

Payment Amount 

If you live in a band A to D property and / or if you receive Council Tax Reduction Support as at 15th February 2022

£150.00

Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme

Qualifying Details

Payment Amount

If you live in a band E or F property as at 15th February 2022

£100.00

Exempt Occupied

£150 (Bands A to D)

 

£100 (Bands E to F)

Houses in Multiple Occupation & Students

£100

DISCRETIONARY FAMILY PAYMENT SCHEME 
Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme

Qualifying Details

Payment Amount

Key Details

Family payment

£50

  • If you have one or more child(ren) of compulsory school age (see Frequently Asked Questions below) that attend a school in Rhondda Cynon Taf you will be eligible to register for a £50 payment;
  • If your child is “electively home educated” you will also be able to register for a payment
  • If your circumstances fall into one of the above categories, you should by now have received a letter inviting you to register for a payment  and payment will be made within 28 days of registration;
  • If you have one or more child(ren) of compulsory school age that attend school outside of Rhondda Cynon Taf, please use the following link to register on-line (the Council will then check your eligibility and notify you accordingly); Apply via the on-line registration form
  • Please note it is one payment per family (not per child).
View details of the Supplementary Cost of Living Support Scheme that was agreed by Cabinet on 6th September 2022 and will be launched on 1st October 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.  If Councils can identify eligible households and have current bank details for them, can the Cost-of-Living Support Scheme payment be made without the need for confirming details

A.  Yes provided the local authority has satisfied its own requirements.

Q.  I have just received my council tax bill but there are no details of the payment being made against my bill. Should I have had the £150 payment taken off my council tax bill? 

A.  No.  The Cost of Living Support payments are not council tax payments and will not be used to reduce a council tax bill for any resident. The payments will be made to each household who can utilise it accordingly.

Q.  There will be groups of low-income households who are not liable for council tax. Why have these not been included as eligible for the scheme?

A.  This scheme is intended to provide support to those easily identifiable through the use of council tax data.  A Discretionary Scheme is also being provided to assist households who are not liable to pay council tax.

Households can also apply to the Discretionary Assistance Fund if they are experiencing financial hardship. 

Q.  Will the £150 payment affect means-tested benefits?

A.  The DWP has confirmed that payments made under Local Welfare Provision are disregarded in the assessment of Income Support, Income Based JSA and Income Related ESA so these will not be affected.  Universal Credit claimants, will not see their entitlement change as a result of receiving this payment. 

Q.  A householder(s) who has their main residence in England has applied to the scheme for their second property in Wales.  They are liable for paying council tax and are responsible for paying the fuels bills at the property, are they eligible for a payment

A.  No.  The scheme is there to support households in their primary residence only. 

Q.  A householder(s) owns two homes in Wales, are they eligible for assistance through the scheme?

A.  Only in respect of the property they inhabit as a primary residence (if they do occupy one of these properties as their primary residence). 

Q.  A householder(s) lives in a Band E property but receives a Disability Band Reduction which drops the charge to that of a Band D property – are they eligible?

A.  Yes.  The revised band is used in eligibility for this scheme. 

Q.   Is there a target date by which payments should be made?

A.  No.  Councils are encouraged to make payments in a timely manner and as soon as practically possible after a successful decision.

Q.  Can a householder(s) appeal against a decision not to award a payment under the Cost-of-Living Support Scheme? 

A.  No.  There is no right of appeal against a decision not to grant a payment as a refusal will arise because the household does not meet the conditions of the scheme.  Councils should look to reconsider cases where new information may change the outcome, e.g. where a property is retrospectively listed as liable for council tax.

Q. Can I receive the cost of living payment if I have no recourse to public funds?

A. Yes. The cost of living payment (as part of the Energy Rebate Scheme 2022) is excluded from being considered a public fund under paragraph 6.2(i) of the Immigration Rules. This means that it is available to people who have no recourse to public funds, other than those who do not have leave to enter or remain in the UK and fall within one of the cohorts listed under Schedule 3 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Q. What is the compulsory school age?

A. A child begins to be of compulsory school age the term following their fifth birthday, this being set in law (more information on compulsory school age can be found in the Council’s Starting School booklet at - Starting School).  In line with this, if you have one or more children born between 1st September 2005 and 31st March 2017 and reside in Rhondda Cynon Taf, you are eligible for a Family Payment under the Council’s Discretionary Cost of Living Support Scheme. Please note it is one £50 per family (not per child). 

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