How is your entitlement to Council Tax Support worked out?
The council tax benefit scheme was abolished by the Government in April 2013 and all councils have had to replace it with their own local council tax support scheme. The new scheme started on 1 April 2013. The Council is required to finalise their scheme each year by 31 January.
The Government has stated that under the new local council tax support schemes, there can be no changes for pensioner claimants. However, non-pensioner claimants may have to pay more council tax.
If you're unsure about your entitlement to Housing Benefit or Pension Age Council Tax Support, try the GOV.UK: Benefit calculator.
For more information or if you want to make a claim, visit How can I claim benefit.
Claimants of pensionable age
Your support will be broadly based on the rules that applied for council tax benefit. Non dependant deductions, needs allowances and the maximum level of council tax support that are awarded are decided in accordance with national legislation.
This applies if you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit, or if you are a couple and one of you has reached the qualifying age for pension credit.
If one of you is in receipt of one of the following benefits you will not be classed as being of pensionable age for the purposes of calculating council tax support:
- Income Support
- Income Based Jobseekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance (Income Related Benefit)
Claimants of working age
This applies if you have not reached the qualifying age for state pension credit.
From 1 April 2020 we have a new Council Tax Reduction Scheme. Please see the Council Tax Reduction page for further details and how to apply.
The full schemes are published in the documents to the right of this page.
Council tax support deductions
The rates of non dependent deductions are determined by central government. If you or your partner are over pension credit age and not in receipt of Income based ESA or Income Support and in receipt of a Council Tax Support reduction then the following rate of non dependent deduction will apply to you:
|Gross weekly income of non-dependent||Deduction from Council Tax reduction|
|£484 or more||£12.85|
|£389 to £483.99||£10.70|
|£224 to £388.99||£8.55|
|less than £224||£4.20|
These rates are decided by the Government.
If you or your partner are over 65 and a non-dependent moves in with you, we won't make deductions for the first 26 weeks. However, you must still tell us that they have moved in.
If you or your partner are aged over 65, and you already have a non-dependent living with you and their income increases, we will not increase the amount of deduction for 26 weeks from the date of change. The new deductions will be based on the non-dependent's income at the end of the 26 weeks period. You must still tell us about the change during that period.
We will not make a Council Tax Support deduction if your non-dependent is:
- under 18
- receiving pension credit
- receiving a youth training allowance
- a full time student (but we will take deduction if they work in the holidays, and when they are between courses)
- in prison
- usually living elsewhere
- receiving income support, job seekers allowance (income based) or employment and support allowance (income related)
You must tell us about any changes in circumstances.
Council tax support overpayments
Overpayments do not exist in the same way under council tax support rules. Any award of council tax support that you are not entitled to will be removed from your bill and your liability will be recalculated.
You must tell us within 21 days of any change that will result in a change of council tax support awarded. If you fail to tell us about a change that reduces or removes entitlement to council tax support you may be liable for a penalty of at least £70. We will apply this if you fail to tell us about a change within one calendar month of the change occurring.
Council tax support appeals
If you appeal, you must continue to pay your full council tax liability until your appeal is decided. If your appeal succeeds, we will refund any council tax that you have overpaid.
If you disagree with any aspect of a council tax bill, for example, you do not think you are liable for the council tax for that dwelling, or you think an exemption or a discount should be applied, or you think that you should be entitled to more council tax support, you need to appeal to the council first. An appeal must be made in writing and signed.
We will then look again at your bill and tell you why we think your bill is right, or change our decision if it needs to be changed. You will then and only then have a right of appeal to the valuation tribunal against the Council’s decision.
The valuation tribunal is an independent judicial body whose members are experienced in hearing council tax appeals. Normally the decision of the tribunal is final. However, either party who appeals to the tribunal can appeal through the High Court but only on a point of law.
You have two months to appeal to a valuation tribunal after the Council's decision. Further information can be found on the valuation tribunal website www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk.