Local Government Election 2022 Results

The count for the election will take place at West Lothian College on Friday 6 May 2022. The results will be made available using the link above.

Cost of Living Award

In response to the cost of living crisis the Scottish Government announced additional financial support to low income households of a Cost of Living Award of £150.00.

The Scottish Government has stated that the overriding objective is for the £150.00 award to be made to eligible households before the end of April 2022.

As such, it is recognised that existing Council Tax systems can facilitate awards being made as a credit to the council tax accounts of those eligible households and that the £150.00 credit should be identified in 2022/23 council tax bills.

Eligibility Criteria for the Cost of Living Award

Eligibility for the £150.00 Cost of Living Award is directed at the following as at the qualifying date of 14 February 2022:

  • Persons in receipt of a Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)
  • Persons not in receipt of CTRS but living in properties in Council Tax Bands A-D
  • Low Income Households Exempt from Council Tax

Further information in relation to those eligible is noted below.

Persons in Receipt of CTRS

  • To qualify for the £150.00 Cost of Living Award, a person must be in receipt of CTRS, regardless of what band they are in, on the qualifying date of 14 February 2022 and living in the property to which it applies.
  • A person in receipt of any amount of CTRS, including second adult rebate, on 14 February 2022, will be eligible.
  • Councils have discretion to make the Cost of Living Award where CTRS is backdated to 14 February 2022.
  • Only one Cost of Living Award is to be made in relation to any single property, even if more than one CTRS award applies to that property.
  • In cases of joint and several liability for Council Tax, only one award is to be made and that is to the first named liable person on the Council Tax account.

Persons not in Receipt of CTRS but Living in Properties in Council Tax Bands A-D

  • A person not in receipt of CTRS on the 14 February 2022 but living in and liable for Council Tax at a property in bands A-D will be eligible for the £150.00 Cost of Living Award. This includes properties in band E who receive Disabled Persons Reduction.
  • Only one Cost of Living Award is to be made in relation to any single property.
  • In cases of joint and several liability for Council Tax, only one award is to be made and that is to the first named liable person on the Council Tax account.
  • No Cost of Living Award shall be made in relation to unoccupied properties (including second homes) and other properties that are no person's sole or main residence.
  • No payment shall be made in relation to properties exempt from Council Tax other than those specifically noted below.

Low Income Households Exempt from Council Tax

  • Persons living in properties that have a specific exemption from Council Tax on 14 February 2022 will be eligible for the £150.00 Cost of Living Award. The specific exemption categories are:
    • all the occupants are under 18;
    • all the occupants are care leavers;
    • all the occupants are severely mentally impaired;
    • the property is unoccupied because the resident has gone to someone else's home to either provide care or receive care.
  • Only one Cost of Living Award is to be made in relation to any single property.
  • In cases of joint and several liability for Council Tax, only one award is to be made and that is to the first named liable person on the Council Tax account. Where this is not possible, local authorities have discretion to identify the most appropriate person to whom this payment should be made.

Additionally, persons accessing Housing Support Service and/or living in temporary accommodation or a refuge may be eligible for an award under this scheme. These awards will be administered by the council's homelessness services.

Delivery of the Cost of Living Award in West Lothian

  • Those eligible who have a Council Tax and/or water service charge to pay will receive a credit to their Council Tax account.
  • Those eligible who do not have a Council Tax or water service charge to pay will receive a payment by cheque.

The Cost of Living Award was processed for the 2022/23 annual Council Tax bill based on a snapshot of data at a specific point in time.

Eligibility for the award is based on a person's circumstances on the qualifying date of 14 February 2022.

As such, there may be retrospective changes made to Council Tax accounts and CTRS claims that will result in a person no longer being eligible for the award. In such cases the Cost of Living Award will be removed from the Council Tax account and a revised bill issued.

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