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Council Tax Support scheme 2018

Information and an opportunity to comment about our proposals to change our Council Tax Support scheme from 1 April 2018.

Discount and exemptions











What is this?

We're proposing to introduce minor changes to our Council Tax Support scheme for working age customers.
It needs some minor changes in order to update it and bring it into line with other benefits.

We are inviting feedback on the proposed changes, and you can let us know by completing our on-line survey by the end of 28 November 2017. 

What are the changes?

From 1 April 2018 we propose to:

1.   Update the "applicable amounts". Applicable amounts are the fixed amounts of money which you are considered to need to live on, which are used when benefits are being calculated. We have updated these every year since 2013, based upon information we receive from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) each year that we use for working out both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.

2.   Include changes that have occurred as a result of the Government's welfare reforms. This will mean that the way we calculate council tax reductions will take into account the changes to: family premiums; dependence allowances where there are 2 or more children; and eligibility of foreign nationals.

3.   Update the scheme so that people getting Universal Credit don't need to make a separate application to qualify for Council Tax Discount.

What isn't changing?

We're not changing the "reduction rate". This is the amount we take off after we work out your Council Tax Support. Since April 2014 this has been 14%.

Who will the changes affect and when?

Changes 2 and 3 above will affect people needing to make a new claim either through change in circumstances or making a claim for the first time. We expect that only a small number of people will be affected by these changes.

Change 3 will help people who claim Universal Credit from next April. Depending on the amount of hours a person works, their Universal Credit payment will go up or down. This change means that the amount Council Tax is reduced by can change each month. In order to keep this as simple as possible we want to link the amount of Council Tax Support we award to the amount of Universal Credit you get. This means that any new claims will only need one application and we can make sure we award the right amount of Council Tax Support. You can find out more about Universal Credit here.

What will the changes mean for you?

The changes to applicable amounts could mean a slight increase in Council Tax Support.

The changes to align Council Tax Support with welfare reform changes may result in some people paying slightly more Council Tax compared to those who began claiming before 1 April 2018.

The changes associated with the introduction of Universal Credit will simplify the process for claiming Council Tax Support at the same time. Depending on the amount of hours a person works their Universal Credit payment will go up or down. This change means that the amount Council Tax is reduced by can change each month. In order to keep this as simple as we propose to make the award of Council Tax Support conditional upon Universal Credit. This means that any new claims will only need to make one application and we can make sure the correct entitlement to a council tax reduction is received.

Tell us your views

We believe that these few changes will update our Council Tax Support scheme and allow us to keep our reduction rates intact. But what do you think? Let us know your views on our proposed changes and any particular impacts they may have.

Click here to give us your views.