Help With Your Council Tax

Discretionary Housing Payments

Council Tax Support is not always enough for you to be able to pay your Council Tax bill. If you have unusual or extreme circumstances which are causing hardship we may be able to help through the Council Tax Discretionary Fund. As the name suggests, we make payments at our discretion.

There are no rules that give anyone a right to a payment, but we may be able to pay you from the Discretionary Fund if we believe that you need extra financial support.

To receive an award you must:

  • Be getting Council Tax Support

  • Satisfy the Discretionary Housing Payment Officer that you require extra help with housing costs by providing your income and expenses.

There is still some funding available for the current year. Further information is on the Discretionary Housing Payment Page.

Derbyshire County Council Discretionary and Household Support Fund

The Derbyshire Discretionary Fund (DDF) can provide grants or emergency cash payments if you are in urgent need of financial help following a crisis or disaster.  The household support fund (HSF) also offers help to Derbyshire residents facing financial hardship by providing grants and other financial support.

The County Council Welfare Rights Service can offer advice if you need help with claiming benefits or appealing a decision.


If you are paid too much Council Tax Support, the overpayment can be recovered from yourself. Any overpayments will be added back to your Council Tax account. However if the overpayment is as a result of an official error, it may be deemed not recoverable. Like all decisions made by us, you have the right to appeal against it.

Debt Advice

If you are experiencing difficulties paying any debts, the Council recommends that you contact the Citizens Advice on 0808 278 7954 for independent and free advice. Drop in services are available within the Erewash area - please contact them for further details. The Citizens Advice have also released a Council tax protocol calling on councils to commit to fair and effective debt collection.

The Money and Pensions Service have a Money Navigator tool and they can also help with referrals to independent debt advice.

Breathing Space

We are urging residents to find out more about a new national Breathing Space scheme that has been launched to shield people in problem debt from further interest and charges.

The government scheme is for those in problem debt who are receiving debt advice.  The scheme offers a break of up to 60 days if a debt adviser thinks it necessary.

The breathing space is not a payment holiday, as regular bills must still be paid, but the chance to work out an action plan.

People receiving treatment for mental health issues can get more help. The separate system lasts for the length of that treatment, plus another 30 days.

Visit GOV.UK or contact Citizens Advice, telephone number 0808 278 7954

Useful links

Help with Energy Bills

The Severn Trent Big Difference Scheme: The Big Difference Scheme can offer a reduction of water bills to any Severn Trent customer with a household income below £16,480.

British Gas Energy Trust. NOT exclusive to its customers. If you are facing bills you can’t afford and struggling with the rising cost of energy The British Gas Energy Trust can help. They are an independent charitable trust set up to support families and individuals facing financial hardship and energy debt across England, Wales and Scotland.

Community Banks - formerly known as credit unions

There are a number of community banks in Derbyshire, including:

Community banks are not-for-profit financial co-operatives which are owned and controlled by members and authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.  They are run by local people to provide savings accounts and loans at lower costs than some forms of borrowing, such as pay-day lenders or 'buy-to-own' shops.

The Illegal Money Lending Team identify the signs of illegal money lending activity and loan sharks.  They have trained staff who investigate and prosecute offenders, as well as provide support and advice to borrowers.