All households within Blackburn and Darwen who currently receive a 25% single person discount off their council tax bill are being reviewed for accuracy using data matching technology, to identify and remove those that are being claimed either in error or fraudulently.
Checks are being carried out by cross referencing council tax data with other sources of information about households, such as the electoral register and financial information from credit reference agencies.
Where checks indicate that another adult could be living at your address, a letter will be sent asking for you to confirm your current household circumstances and whether the single person discount continues to apply, or whether it should be cancelled.
If you have received a single person discount review letter, please respond within 21 days to inform us of your current circumstances.
If you do not respond to this letter or to further requests for information in relation to your single person discount, your discount will be cancelled.
- People who are disregarded
If you are no longer the only resident aged 18 or over at your address, there are certain circumstances where a 25% discount may still be available, for example, where the other adult living in the property is one of the following:-
- 18/19 years old and still at school/college (or just left) where child benefit is still in payment
- Full-time student or student nurse
- Apprentice or youth training trainee
Please complete and return the form along with all of the necessary information and supporting documents required e.g. student certificate.
- Cancelling your single person discount
If you are no longer the only adult in the property because someone has moved in with you, or someone in your household has reached the age of 18, you are no longer entitled to the single person discount.
Please complete and return the form to notify us of the details and cancel your single person discount.
- Continue claiming your single person discount
If you continue to be the only resident aged 18 or over at the property, please complete and return the form; you must provide as much information as possible to explain why an additional adult(s) may have been identified by the data match. Failure to provide this information may result in your discount being cancelled.
- Completing the form
If you are the only adult over 18 occupying your property, tick the relevant box and give as much detail as possible to explain why the additional person(s) may have been identified by the data match. Sign and date the form at the bottom and return to the address at the bottom of the letter.
If there is more than one adult living at the property, please provide their name, date of birth, the date on which they moved in and their previous address. If you think they should not be counted for Council Tax purposes, for example if they are an apprentice, have recently left school or are a student at college or university you should include them on the form and tell us why. Please include details of:
- their date of birth
- the name of the school, college or university they attend
- if their term time address is away from home, their address whilst they are studying
Further evidence may be required, such as a bank statement, to show that you are getting Child Benefit for the person over 18. We may need to contact you again for more information so it is helpful if you provide us with an email address or telephone number. If you need any further assistance please use our online chat facility.
When complete, please return the form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can do this using your mobile phone, by taking a clear photo of the completed document and then sending it to the above email address. Please ensure that the image can be clearly viewed before sending it to us.
As long as the form is returned within a reasonable amount of time we will accept it. If the form is very late, you may receive a reminder letter. If you do receive a reminder letter you should complete the form as previously requested.
If you do not respond to the review letter we will assume that your circumstances have changed and you are no longer entitled to the discount. The discount will be removed and a new bill will be sent to you.
- People who stay at your house
If someone else (a friend for instance) stays with you sometimes and keeps their belongings at your house it may be classed as their main residence and you will no longer be eligible for the discount. Some of the questions we may ask are:
- where do they stay for the other nights? If they stay at various addresses but keep their belongings at your property, your address would be their main residence
- does your friend work away and stay at your address on their days off? Your address would be their main residence
You should complete and return the form and provide as much information as possible.
- Correspondence only addresses
If someone is using your address for correspondence only complete and return the form, including their name and full residential address, this will then be verified.
- Receiving mail for previous occupants
If you still receive mail for previous occupants complete and return the form and explain in the box provided. Also, when you receive mail for previous occupiers, you should write on the envelope that the person no longer lives at the address and return it to the sender.
- Change of circumstances
If you have already informed the Council of a change in circumstances you still need to complete the form and include all the details of your current circumstances.
- Data protection and credit reference agencies
Under the data protection regulations, we are able to use data held by credit reference agencies to investigate single person discount claims. Any data you supply remains secure and will only be used for purposes of the review. More information on data protection.
We don’t hold any credit information on you, if you want to see your credit file please contact any of the major credit reference agencies: