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Low Income Pandemic Payments to roll out to Orkney households

Low Income Pandemic Payments to roll out to Orkney households
20 July 2021

Around 1400 low income families in Orkney will receive a £130 cash boost in August, as Orkney Islands Council delivers the Scottish Government’s Low Income Pandemic Payment.

Eligible households in Orkney will receive the one-off payment automatically - there is no need to apply for the payment or contact the Council.

Officers from the Council’s Revenues and Benefits team are already working to identify households eligible for the payment, which will be issued during August 2021.

The Council can only make one payment to each household and typically this will be to individuals indicated on our Council Tax records.

Households can use this money as they see fit and there is no expectation that the £130 payment be used for any specific purpose.

The qualifying conditions for the payment are that during at least one day in April 2021 you either received Council Tax Reduction, or your property was exempt from Council Tax for one of the following reasons:

  • All of the occupants were under 18.
  • All of the occupants were care leavers.
  • All of the occupants were severely mentally impaired.
  • The property was unoccupied because the resident had gone to someone else's home to provide care, or the resident received care elsewhere.
  • The occupants were accessing a Housing Support Service and/or living in temporary accommodation or a refuge.

Eligible households who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit or receive payments of Housing Benefit and/or Discretionary Housing Payments into their bank will be paid the £130 into the bank account the Council has on record for those purposes – and a remittance advice notice will be sent by post. Otherwise, the payment will be issued by cheque.

If you think you will qualify but your bank account has recently changed, or will change during August, it’s important that you e-mail the team by 15 August 2021 to advise us. You may be asked to supply evidence of your new account details, such as a bank statement. It may not be possible for the Council to re-issue payments made to the wrong bank account if the bank does not agree to refund it.

If you think you meet the qualifying criteria but you do not receive a payment by 6 September 2021, you should contact us by e-mail.

If you receive Universal Credit, then this payment will be counted as capital. This will not normally affect the amount you receive unless you have savings or other capital totalling over £6,000. If you are concerned that this payment could impact your Universal Credit award, you should report the payment in your journal by signing into your Universal Credit account or by calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

This payment will be disregarded in full for other benefits and for income tax purposes.

This payment is in addition to support delivered through the Family Pandemic Payment.

In a small number of cases it may be necessary for us to contact recipients by telephone or in writing, if we need further information before we can make a payment.

We will not employ third parties to gather information on our behalf. If you have reason to believe that a person contacting you does not work for the council, please contact us immediately.

We will not ask for bank details over the phone and you should never give out your bank details to someone you do not trust. If you are in any doubt, hang up and phone the Council on 01856 873535, to check if the person calling you is genuine.

If you are not already receiving Council Tax Reduction and believe you may be eligible you can find out more on the council’s website, or on the Citizen’s Advice Scotland website.

The free Money Talk Team service is available to help ensure you receive all the support you are entitled to. Delivered by Citizen’s Advice Scotland, this can be accessed by calling 0800 085 7145, or you can find out more on their website.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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