Amount of reduction that can be paid
If you get Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (income related) and your capital is under £6,000 (working age applicants) or £16,000 (working age protected group applicants), you will be entitled to the maximum amount of reduction we can pay, after we have taken off deductions for your non-dependants. Please see About the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for details on the maximum amount of Council Tax Reduction we can pay .
If you are not sure if you fall in to a working age protected group please see About the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme .
If you are in receipt of Guarantee Pension Credit, you will be entitled to the maximum Council Tax Reduction, after we have taken off deductions for your non-dependants.
In all other cases, we work out your Council Tax Reduction by comparing the money you get each week with your 'applicable amount'. Your applicable amount is what the Government says you and your family need to live on each week. The applicable amount will be higher for some people - for example, if you are disabled or if you are a one-parent family.
When we have worked out what money you get each week, if it's less than, or the same as the applicable amount, you will be entitled to the full amount of Council Tax Reduction we can pay. If this happens, you should claim Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance (income related) as you may get more help.
What money we count when we work out your entitlement
We count any money you have coming in. This includes things like:
- social security benefits
- spousal maintenance (but not maintenance for a child)
- occupational and private pensions
We ignore some of your wages when we work out your entitlement. We do not count the first:
- £5 of the money you earn each week, if you are single
- £10 of the money you earn each week, if you are a couple
- £20 of the money you earn each week, if you are disabled
- £25 of the money you earn each week, if you are a single parent
From 1 April 2013, there will be an additional earnings disregard for customers working over 16 hours per week, with a child under 5 years of age. Therefore, we will be able to disregard an extra £10 you earn each week, as well as the earnings disregards mentioned above.
Sometimes, we ignore different amounts from other types of income and benefits.
For example we ignore any maintenance you receive for dependent children, and the first £15 of spousal maintenance (if you have one or more children).
We also ignore things like:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Attendance Allowance
But we will still need evidence
that you get these and the amounts paid to you.
These are just a few examples.
Other people living with you
If you have friends, relatives or anyone over 18 living in your home, you may get less Council Tax reduction. These people are called 'non-dependants'. We may take an amount out of your reduction for each non-dependant who lives in your home.
Savings and investments
If you are working age (not in a working age protected group) and have savings and investments over £6,000 you will not qualify for Council Tax reduction.
If you are working age, in a protected group and have between £6,000 and £16,000, it will affect how much Council Tax reduction you will get. If you have over £16,000 you will not qualify.
If you are working age and in a protected group, for every £250 (or part of £250) you have over £6,000, we add £1 to the money we count each week when working out your entitlement. This is called 'tariff income'.
If you are pension age and have £10,000 or less, it will not affect your entitlement.
If you are pension age, we will only input a tariff income if you have between £10,000 and £16,000.
If you are pension age, for every £500 (or part of £500) you have over £10,000, we add £1 to the money we count each week when working out your entitlement. If you have over £16,000 you will not qualify.
When your Council Tax reduction will start
If you qualify, your Council Tax Reduction will usually start from the Monday after we get your claim form. For pension age customers, Council Tax Reduction may start from an earlier date. Please visit the Backdating your Council Tax Reduction claim page for more information .
How you will be paid
We will pay your Council Tax Reduction straight to your Council Tax account. You will get a bill which shows the amount you have to pay after we have awarded the Reduction.
What should you do if anything changes when you are getting Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction
You should tell us straightaway if your circumstances change, as this may affect the amount of Housing Benefit or Council Tax reduction you are entitled to. You can find out more about changes you need to tell us about here: change in circumstances .
What happens if we give you too much Council Tax reduction
In most cases we will send you a revised Council Tax bill, and you will usually have to pay more Council Tax. Please visit the overpayments section for more information .
What you can do if you don't agree with our decision
If you don't agree with our decision, you can ask us to look at it again. Our letters tell you what your rights are. Please see the make an appeal page for more detailed information .