Council tax reduction scheme - Important information about changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme

The amount of Council Tax Reduction shown on your bill (a deduction from your bill due to low income), may have changed from 1 April. This is for two reasons;

  • A recalculation due to the increase in the net Council Tax payable on the property for the year 2022/23
  • An increase in the income bands of 3.6% in line with changes the Dept. for Work and Pensions will make to most benefits (CPI). This should ensure most remain in the same income band as the previous year.

New CTR bands of entitlement

Band

Claim category for scheme

Discount

Pensioner (prescribed) scheme

Households where one or both have reached Pension age

Means-tested based on 100%

1

Working-age households eligible for a severe disability premium (or SDP transitional protection in UC)

95%

2

Households in receipt of Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Income-based Jobseekers Allowance or  maximum Universal Credit or with income equal to or less than £83.71   per week

 88%

3

Weekly income between  £83.72     and  £187.66

65%

4

Weekly income between £187.67     and £ 248.82  

45%

5

Weekly income between £248.83     and £ 340.06

25%

 

Income cut off point £340.07

0

 

What to do if you are struggling to pay your Council Tax bill

  • If you are paying over 10 instalments, you can ask the Council Tax office to spread these over 12 monthly instalments either on-line or by contacting 01909 533234.
  • You can also contact our Money Advice team on 01909 533744 or email advice@bassetlaw.gov.uk . One of the advisors will then contact you to offer help and advice and ensure that you are claiming all of the income you are eligible for. They can also refer you to other hardship support, such as extra help due to Covid 19 or other debt support.

Exceptional hardship

If paying your council tax or other housing costs is causing you exceptional financial hardship due to a temporary setback or a change in your circumstances, the Money Advice team may be able to offer you help from the Council Tax discretionary hardship fund. This is a temporary support package to help you whilst your circumstances recover.

If your income has been affected by Covid and you have not let us know, please contact the benefits office on 01909 533710. We will usually need to see documentary evidence of the change in income or circumstances and you may be entitled to extra help.

If you have a balance brought forward from a previous year on your bill and you cannot pay, please do not wait, as the next stage could be a summons and application for a liability order which would add costs to the outstanding balance. Contact the Council Tax office immediately or email customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk

You can also call us on 01909 533234 Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm .

Other help- A new Council Tax Energy Rebate for 2022/23

Energy companies are set to increase the price of fuel from April 2022 which could impact every household’s ability to pay other bills.

The Government will provide funding for billing authorities to give all eligible households in England whose primary residence is valued in council tax bands A – D a one-off council tax energy rebate payment of £150. This payment will operate outside of the council tax system, using council tax lists to identify eligible households. You do not have to contact us about this but please bear with us whilst the full guidance is available from the Government. If you are eligible, we will pay this automatically as soon as possible.

The Government is also providing funding for billing authorities to operate a discretionary fund for households in need who would not otherwise be eligible for the energy rebate. This could include for example individuals on low incomes who live in properties valued in bands E – H.

How we calculate eligible weekly income

The eligible income will be the net weekly income of the claimant (and partner) after eligible disregards have been applied. The disregarded incomes have not changed from the previous scheme. Examples of the disregarded incomes are:

  • Child Benefit
  • Child Maintenance
  • War Widows, War Disablement and Armed Forces Independent Payments
  • Personal Independent payments
  • Disability Living Allowance 

Earnings disregards are:

  • Single person £5 per week
  • Couple £10 per week
  • Lone Parent £25 per week 

We will also calculate a weekly tariff income for each £250 of capital you have and add this on to your weekly net income. The capital limit remains the same at £16,000.

Non-dependent deductions 

If you have another adult in your household who is not in receipt of maximum Universal Credit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Employment Support Allowance or Pension Credit, a “non-dependant deduction” will be deducted from your weekly CTR entitlement, as it did in the old scheme. However, we have simplified this to two flat rate charges:

  • Non-dependant not working but not in receipt of any of the above benefits £4.00 per week
  • Non-dependant in work £10.00 per week

Restriction to Council Tax Band C

There is no change to this restriction, therefore if you are entitled to CTR and your property is in band D or above, any entitlement will be restricted to the equivalent of a band C property.

Backdating rule

If you make a new claim for CTR after 1 April 2020, you may be able to get it backdated. You would need to demonstrate good cause for not claiming on an earlier date. You may be eligible to have any award backdated for up to one month, from the date of claim, or 1 April, whichever is later. Claims cannot be backdated prior to April 1 2020.

Where to get more advice 

If you would like more advice or information about the changes:

  • You can email us at customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk 
  • Call the benefits helpline on 01909 533710
  • If you want to talk to someone about payment of Council tax, please call 01909 533234
  • If would like to speak to one of our money advisors about arrears or if you are worried about paying your council tax, please call 01909 533744

 

 


Last Updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022