What to do if you can't pay your Council Tax or council Rent

It is important that you continue to pay your Council Tax and council Rent if you can.  This helps to pay for essential services we provide.

However, if you’re worried about paying your Council Tax or council Rent, contact the team as soon as you can and we'll do what we can to help. 

Officers can work with you to make sure you get any help you need and can also liaise with other council services and agencies on your behalf if you're struggling.

Contact details are shown on the right.  Depending on the volume of calls, you may be asked to leave a voicemail message and we will return your call as soon as we can, so please bear with us.

Find out more about Benefits and other support you may be entitled to

As well as dedicated Officers to deal with any Council Tax or council Rent enquiries, the council also has a Financial Inclusion team who can provide advice about what benefits you may be entitled to and help you to apply.  Depending on your circumstances, you may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay or Universal Credit, including an element for your housing costs (your rent). 

There’s lots of helpful information on The Department for Work & Pensions website, including information about recent Government changes which have been introduced to help during this challenging time.

There's also lots of information on the Social Security Scotland website, including details of new benefits available in Scotland.

The council may also be able to help if you’re struggling financially:

  • If you’re on a low income or claiming certain benefits, you may be entitled to help from the council to pay your Council Tax. This is called a Council Tax Reduction (CTR). 
  • If you’re claiming Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, but still can't afford to pay your rent, you may be eligible for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). 
  • If you’re in crisis, you may be eligible for support from The Scottish Welfare Fund.

More information about welfare benefits can be found at www.eastlothian.gov.uk/financialinclusion.  You can also access our online Benefits calculator from this site to get a quick estimate of what you may be entitled to.

Important Information

If you or a member of your household has been affected by Coronavirus and you need general help or advice, there’s lots of information available on the council website.  Visit www.eastlothian.gov.uk/coronavirus