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Council Tax Support Scheme

What is Council Tax Support?

Council Tax Support is a means-tested award that helps people on low incomes pay their Council Tax. It is administered by local councils using rules set locally. Claimants have their Council Tax bill reduced by the amount of their award.

Council Tax Support could help pay towards some, or all, of your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income, even if you own your home. The maximum amount of Council Tax Support will depend on whether you are working age or are State Pension Credit age, your income, personal and family circumstances. Poole's Council Tax Support scheme is available from the 'Downloads' section on the right hand side of this page.

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Who can claim?

 You may be eligible for Council Tax Support if you:

You can get an estimate of your Council Tax Support using these benefit calculators. You will need your annual Council Tax bill.

The Council Tax Support scheme changed from 1 April. Please ensure that you enter the restricted Council Tax Liability as explained in the ‘Main aspects of the scheme’ detailed below when working through a benefit calculator if you are of working age and not in a ‘Protected Group’. Also if the benefit calculator estimates your Council Tax Support award to be less than 50 pence per week and you are working age, then no Council Tax Support is payable.

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Second Adult Reduction

Second Adult Reduction is help with your council tax bill if you share your home with one or more adults.

If you are of State Pension Credit Age and the second adult is:
  • Aged 18 or over?
  • Not your partner?
  • Not paying you rent?
  • Not liable to pay council tax themselves?

If you can answer yes to all of these, then you may qualify for Second Adult Reduction.

Second Adult Reduction is based on the circumstances of the person who shares your home.  Your income and savings will not affect Second Adult Reduction.

If you are entitled to Council Tax Support and Second Adult Reduction we will pay the one which gives you the most money.

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Main aspects of the Council Tax Support Scheme

The government amended the Council Tax Support Scheme for claimants who are of State Pension Credit Age who make a new Council Tax Support claim effective from 1 May 2016 or later to reduce the Family Premium element within the Applicable Amount to nil. Apart from this change, claimants who are of State Pension Credit Age will continue to receive a similar level of help through Council Tax Support as they previously did through Council Tax Benefit.

For working age residents, when calculating Council Tax Support your eligible Council Tax liability for Council Tax Support will be the lower of:

80% of the council tax charge for your property after any discounts or reductions that you are entitled to; or

80% of the council tax charge for a band C property after any discounts or reductions that you are entitled to.

'Protected Group': Where the claimant or partner is in receipt of any of the following, Council Tax Support will be calculated on 100% of the eligible council tax charge –

  • War Disablement Pension

  • War Widows Pension

  • War Widows Disablement Pension

  • Disability Premium

  • Enhanced Disability Premium

  • Severe Disability Premium

  • Disabled Child Premium

  • Carer Premium or

  • Support Component within their Employment and Support Allowance

Second Adult Reduction is not payable to working age claimants, it is only payable where the claimant is State Pension Credit Age.

For working age claimants where an amount of Council Tax Support is calculated and it is less than 50 pence per week, no amount will be granted by us.

For working age claimants, with effect from 1 April 2016 the government amended the rule on Backdating within Housing Benefit to shorten the period over which a claim can be considered upon a request for backdating from six months to one month. We decided to mirror this change for working age claimants within the Council Tax Support Scheme with effect from 1 April 2016.

For working age claimants, with effect from 1 May 2016 we decided to mirror the change made by government to reduce the Family Premium element for new claims from State Pension Credit Age claimants to nil from 1 May 2016 and apply this change equally to working age claimants who make a new Council Tax Support claim effective from 1 May 2016 or later.

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How do I claim?

 You can apply for Council Tax Support and Second Adult Reduction by:

Your Council Tax Support will be deducted from the Council Tax bill that we send you.

If you are already receiving Council Tax Support but the payment amount does not cover your total council tax bill and you are suffering severe financial hardship as a result, then please contact us on 0345 034 4569.

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Telling the Benefits Service about a change in your circumstances

When you get Council Tax Support you must tell us immediately if your personal or household details change. If you don’t tell us about a change within 21 days of it happening we may award you too much money, and you will probably have to pay it back.

You must tell us if:

  • you or your partner starts/stops receiving Universal Credit
  • the money you or your partner get changes. This includes earnings, benefits and tax credits
  • you change address (see below

  • anyone moves in or out of the home

  • the amount of capital or savings you have change

  • you or your partner are going to be away from home for four weeks or more

  • anything you previously told us changes.

You can access our online forms or you can download and complete the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Change in Circumstance Form or let this Benefits Service know your new circumstances within 21 days of the change.

If you are considering a change, you can see the potential changes to all other benefits you receive at the Department for Work and Pensions' Benefit Advisor web page.

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Tell us about a change in your address

 If you already receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support and you are moving address, it is very important that you tell us immediately.  Any delay may affect the date the benefit is paid from and the amount you may receive.

You can complete a form and submit it online.

You can download and complete the Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support Change of Address Form. You must let this Benefits Service know within 21 days of the change.

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View details of your benefit claim online

You can view a range of your own personal information through this website, including benefits and council tax information.  For example you can check how your benefit has been worked out and what letters have been sent to you about your claim. You can also view your Council Tax bill online and sign up for e-billing.

Go to online services for more details.

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Other information: