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 “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;
- For working-age people (who are not classed as severely disabled) it will be based on the weekly council tax liability, limited to the equivalent of a band C property (if higher) but have a maximum amount or cap of 88%. Therefore, you would have at least 12% of your Council Tax to pay yourself;
- Have a maximum amount of 100% for pensioners (no cap);
- For working-age people who receive the severe disability premium in their benefits, will be based on the weekly council tax liability, limited to the equivalent of a band C property (if higher) but have a maximum amount or cap of 95%. Therefore, you would have at least 5% of your council tax to pay yourself.;
- Have a hardship fund to help those with severe financial needs or exceptional circumstances;
- Have an appeals process for disagreements with our decisions.
Council Tax Reduction Scheme (Bassetlaw) 2018/19
Previous years’ Council Tax Reduction Scheme documents are available on request from the Benefits Unit. The Band C restriction was introduced in 2017-18 and has applied to all working age applications from 1 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 or you think that this would cause you exceptional hardship, you may be eligible for a Council Tax hardship award.
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.
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 31 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.This could affect the amount of your instalments so please check any bills that are sent to you.
You can now make your benefit claim on-line.
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 and have made a claim for Council Tax Reduction, but find 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 ask to speak to one of the Council's Money Advisors by calling 01909 533 710.
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 31 March 2013 for working-age claimants.