Extra help with paying your rent and council tax

The council has a limited amount of money to provide extra help to pay your rent or council tax. These are discretionary awards made by the council and do not form part of your benefit entitlement.

This discretionary support is for a short-period (normally up to three months) and is intended to help you adjust to a change in your circumstances or to meet a short-term issue. The awards have replaced income support loans.

We may be able to offer extra help when you're living in a home that is larger than you require and you are looking to move, or there are special circumstances that mean you cannot move.

We may also be able to offer extra help when you are working and having to face increased costs for travel to and from work.

Normally we would not provide extra help to clear arrears that have built up over a period of time.

Each case is dealt with on an individual basis and therefore you must give as much information as possible when you make a request for discretionary support.

Who can apply

If you want extra help to pay your rent, you must be receiving Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit.

If you want extra help to pay your council tax, you do not need to be receiving council tax reduction. You can still ask for extra help as long as your name appears on the council tax bill.

How to apply

If you pay rent for your home and receive Housing Benefit or the housing costs element of Universal Credit, you can apply for a discretionary award.

You can also apply for a discretionary award if you own your home and receive council tax reduction.

Download the form below and return it to the Community Advice and Support Team, Rugby Borough Council, Town Hall, Evreux Way, Rugby, CV21 2RR.

Download the discretionary award application form

Please note, you must include as much information as you can in support of your application to help us make a decision. You'll also need to provide a breakdown of your income and expenditure.

How we make payments

If you receive Housing Benefit from the council, you'll receive the discretionary award to help with your rent along with the payment of Housing Benefit.

If you're receiving the housing costs element of Universal Credit then we'll pay the discretionary award in monthly instalments directly into your bank account.

In some cases we may pay the discretionary award as a lump sum rather than in instalments.

If you receive extra help towards your council tax, we'll credit the discretionary award to your council tax account and send you an amended bill.

Challenging a decision

If you think we have made the wrong decision, the first thing to do is to contact us and ask us to look at the decision again.

With regards to extra help towards your rent, there is no formal right of appeal to an independent tribunal run by the Tribunal Service. This is because the awards are discretionary and made outside of the Housing Benefit or Universal Credit scheme.

If you think we have made an error in law you may be able to challenge a decision through the High Court. You would need to seek independent legal advice regarding this.

If you do not agree with a decision regarding extra help with council tax you may be able to appeal to an independent appeal run by The Valuation Tribunal.

View more information about Valuation Tribunals