Council Tax Reduction Scheme
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme provides financial assistance with Council Tax bills for residents who are on a low income. The government abolished the national Council Tax Benefit scheme for working-age people from April 2013, and it was replaced with local schemes decided upon by each individual Local Authority. The government decided that pensionable age claimants must receive no less support than they would have under the old Council Tax Benefit scheme, therefore the scheme for pensioners is different to the working-age scheme (as it is set nationally).
Government announces COVID-19 Council Tax Support hardship fund for 2020/21
Bexley will shortly be making awards from the recently announced hardship fund for working age residents who receive help with their Council Tax bills through local Council Tax support schemes. Working age residents who have an existing award of Council Tax Reduction Scheme will be automatically awarded up to an additional £150 of support credited directly to their 2020/21 Council Tax bill (if your bill after your Council Tax Reduction award and any other discount you are entitled to is less than £150, your bill will be reduced to zero). You do not need to contact the Benefits or Council Tax teams to apply for this extra assistance. Revised Council Tax bills will be sent once the awards have been made.
Working Age scheme
Working-age Council Tax Reduction claimants in Bexley can receive support of up to of 80% of their Council Tax bill which is means tested. The Bexley working age scheme is income banded, which means that the income of the person claiming (and their partner if they have one) minus any relevant disregarded income (e.g. Child Benefit, Personal Independence Payments, housing element of Universal Credit) is compared to the below table of bands in order to award the appropriate percentage reduction to the Council Tax account:
|Weekly income (after disregarded incomes have been deducted from total)||CTRS award (% of total Council Tax liability)|
|£0 to £50.99 (or in receipt of Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance)||80%|
|£51 to £75.99||70%|
|£76 to £100.99||60%|
|£101 to £150.99||50%|
|£151 to £200.99||30%|
|£201 to £250.99||10%|
|£251 and above||0%|
The disregarded incomes are the same as those identified within the national Housing Benefit regulations.
Pensionable Age Scheme
As the government decided that pensionable age claimants would remain under a nationally set scheme, pensioners can receive support of up to 100% of their Council Tax bill. You can find out when you will reach pensionable age at GOV.UK - Pension Credit.
The pensionable age scheme is means tested, which means that a standard weekly income amount is allowed, depending on the number of people in the household and relevant personal circumstances (example, disability) and any income a household receives above that amount reduces the entitlement to Council Tax Reduction on a sliding scale.
Awards of Council Tax Reduction are made after any other relevant Council Tax discounts have been applied to the account (e.g. Single Person Discount).
Entitlement to Council Tax Reduction may be backdated by up to one month prior to the date the claim was made for working-age claimants or up to three months for pensionable age claimants. This is awarded subject to 'good cause' criteria (i.e. a person must demonstrate that there was a continuous good reason why they were unable to make their claim at an earlier date).
Make a new claim at Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Scheme claim
If you already receive Council Tax Reduction, report a change in your income/capital/household circumstances.
If you think the decision about your Council Tax Reduction entitlement is wrong
You can make an appeal directly to the Council if you are not satisfied with the decision we have made and it affects your entitlement or the amount you have been awarded. The appeal must be made in writing to PO Box 713, Erith, Kent DA8 1UN.
State clearly the matter you disagree with and the reasons for this, attaching any supporting documentation.
When we have looked at your case again, we will send you our decision. If you still disagree, you have the right to appeal to an independent body, the Valuation Tribunal Service. However, please be aware that from Thursday 19th March 2020, the Valuation Tribunal will be postponing all tribunal hearings until the 30 April 2020 due to the coronavirus situation.
You will need to fill in an appeal form at the Valuation Tribunal Service. You must send your appeal to the Tribunal within two months of the date you receive our decision.