Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Benefit ended on 31st March 2013 as part of the Government’s Welfare Reform programme.

A new Local Scheme set by each Council, replaced the old Council tax Benefit and is called Council Tax Reduction. Although still means-tested, and the rules are very similar, it is now classed as a discount rather than a benefit.

Council Tax Reduction continues to provide money off your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income. The new “reduction” is not to be confused with other Council Tax discounts such as Single Occupier Discount, which you can apply for, if you live alone. See the Council Tax & Business rates pages for more details on discounts.

Bassetlaw District Council determines a Council Tax Reduction Scheme in January each year.

In summary the scheme will;

  • Be based on weekly net income and thresholds for needs  (means-tested);
  • Have full income disregards such as child benefit and war widows income;
  • Be based on  the  weekly council tax liability for up to a band C property but have a maximum amount or cap  for working age claimants which will not be the full weekly council tax, (88% in  2017-18); Have a maximum amount of 100% for pensioners (no cap);
  • Have a maximum amount of 95%  in 2017/18 of the Council tax liability for up to a band C property for severely disabled (vulnerable) working age (no cap);
  • Have a  hardship fund  to help those with severe financial needs or exceptional circumstances
  • Have an appeals process for disagreements with our decisions.

The band C restriction is new for 2017-18 and applies to all working age claimants from 1st April 2017. This means if you are living in a property in Bands D, E,F G or H, you will have to pay the difference between the maximum Council tax Reduction (at band C equivalent) and the total bill for your property. If you need advice about this increase or you think that this would cause you exceptional hardship, you may be eligible for a Council Tax hardship award.

You cannot claim Council Tax Reduction if:-

  • You are not the liable person on the bill
  • you, or your partner between you, have more than £16,000 in savings (unless you get Pension Credit)  or have other assets or property worth more than £16,000 eg a holiday home or caravan

You may be able to get Council Tax Reduction if you are on other benefits, or work part-time or work full-time on a low income, or if you have recently been made redundant. If you have recently claimed Universal Credit, you will claim help with your rent from the Jobcentre Plus but you still have to make a separate claim to the council for help with your Council Tax.

Council Tax Reduction is normally awarded from the date the claim is received, up to the 31st March  of the following year, to cover the whole period of the bill. If your circumstances change during the year of the award, you must tell us within 21 days  and the amount of your reduction will be re-assessed and a revised bill issued.

You can now make your benefit claim on-line

Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Bassetlaw)

You can view the results of the  latest  consultation held in October  to November 2016 about proposed changes to the scheme 2017/18 Council Tax Reduction Scheme consultation responses

Pensioners  will not have a restriction applied to the calculation, so this will continue to be worked out using 100% of the Council Tax liability. This scheme for pensioners is a national statutory one set.

A vulnerable working age household means a claimant or partner entitled to severe disability premium by reference to specific components of Disability Living Allowance (middle or higher rate) or the enhanced daily living component of a Personal Independence Payment.  .

 If you are having difficulty paying your Council tax

A cash-limited Hardship Fund has also been set up as part of the scheme.  If you have a bill for Council Tax as a result of the changes described in this section and if you cannot pay all of it due to exceptional financial circumstances, please visit our Apply for Council Tax Hardship Payment, we advise that you read the guidance notes first before applying or call in at one of our One Stop Shops in Worksop or Retford and an advisor can help you.

The new Bassetlaw scheme has some helpful additions over and above the Government’s recommended scheme policy, such as a full disregard for war pensions and child benefit.

Second Adult Rebate for people of pensionable age

You can currently still claim Second Adult Rebate if you are of pensionable age and  there are other people living in your home (excluding your partner) who are on a lower income than you. This allows us to use their income instead of yours to work out Council tax Reduction.

You cannot claim Second Adult Rebate if you are married or have a partner, as the rules say you must be the only liable person in the property.

This system ended from 31st March 2013 for working-age claimants.