Council Tax Support is help for people who have little or no income and need financial assistance in order to meet their Council Tax liability.
Working age people may be awarded a maximum of 80% discount from their Council Tax, dependent upon their circumstances.
Those classed as pension age may be awarded a maximum of 100% discount from their Council Tax, dependent upon their circumstances.
Making a claim
If you wish to apply for Council Tax Support you will need to complete an online claim form.
If you are unable to complete the form online please contact us on (01254) 585585 to discuss further.
Once a decision on your application has been made, we will let you know the outcome and a new bill may be issued. You should continue to pay your Council Tax as billed whilst awaiting the outcome of any application you make.
Changes in circumstances
If you receive Council Tax Support you must tell us at once of any changes that may affect your award at the time they happen.
Some examples of the types of changes you must report:
You need to tell us if you or your partner:
- have any changes to the amount of benefit you receive from the Department for Work and Pensions, including your benefits stopping, starting or a change in the amount you receive
- start work or change jobs
- have an increase or decrease in wages
- have savings or investments and the value goes up or down
- go into hospital
You also need to tell us if:
- any of your children leave school
- you change address
- the number of people living with you changes, for example;
- you have a child
- other people come to live with you
- you foster a child or children
- other people leave your house
- you leave the property for over 4 weeks
- the income of other householders change
Please note that this list is not exhaustive.
If you fail to tell us that your circumstances have changed at the time of that change, you will be liable for any adjustment to the Council Tax support made and any increase in the amount of Council Tax owed.
If the adjustment in award occurs due to the local authorities error, you may ask them to make the adjustment unrecoverable if you could not reasonably have known you had been awarded too much Council Tax Support.
If you do not agree with the decision made, you can request a reconsideration of the decision or make an appeal. Please note you will not be able to appeal against the authority's scheme, and accordingly, it is not a decision against which there is a right of appeal to the authority or to the Valuation Tribunal Service.
You can only appeal against the amount of reduction awarded to you for the reasons below:
- you think that, under the rules of the local Council Tax Support scheme, the Council should have given you a reduction on the council tax you have to pay
- you think the amount of reduction the council have given you under the local Council Tax Support scheme is not correct
For more information on the Valuation Tribunal Service please visit their website or contact Tel: 0300 123 2035
If a Council Tax payer is experiencing exceptional financial hardship and receiving Council Tax, support a claim for assistance can be made.
An application for the exceptional hardship fund can be made by completing the online application linked below. Please read the qualifying criteria notes before you apply.
The Council will consider each application on its own merits, but as the fund is limited, awards will only be made in exceptional circumstances.
Further help and advice
The Council has partnered with Shelter to provide free confidential welfare and debt advice to residents of the borough.
Confidential and independent help is also available via the National Debtline you can call them on 0800 808 4000 or visit their website.