The following sections answer many questions about Council Tax Support including advice on 'How to Apply'. You can use the Benefits Calculator (see 'Related Pages') to see if you could qualify. From April 2020 a new Hardship Fund will also provide help to working age households already receiving Council Tax Support and who are most affected by the Coronavirus.
- Who can claim Council Tax Support?
- Who can't claim Council Tax Support?
- How do I apply for Council Tax Support?
- How is my Council Tax Support worked out?
- What is backdated Council Tax Support?
- How do MVDC pay Council Tax Support?
- What to do when you think the Council Tax Support decision is wrong?
- What are Change in Circumstances?
Council Tax Support
In April 2013, Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a localised support scheme to help people on a low income with their council tax.
The amount of Council Tax Support awarded will depend upon the level of income and capital, the number, age and circumstances of people in the claimant's household. Any award is used to reduce the council tax that is paid.
From April 2020 a new Hardship Fund will also provide help to working age households already receiving Council Tax Support and who are most affected by the Coronavirus. For more information on this Hardship Fund please visit GOV.UK.
Who can claim Council Tax Support?
You may get Council Tax Support if you are liable to pay council tax on a property you are occupying as your home and your household income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level. You could qualify if you are out of work, or in work and earning a wage. If you receive Universal Credit this will normally include any housing costs you are entitled to, but it will not include any financial help for Council Tax.
Help can also be provided based on the gross weekly income of all other adults sharing your home, as long as they are not your partner, not responsible for council tax or not paying you rent.
Use the Benefits Calculator to see if you could qualify for Council Tax Support.
You can't usually get Council Tax Support if: you have savings of more than £16,000, unless you are aged 60 or over and getting the 'guarantee credit' of Pension Credit.
To claim Council Tax Support you must fill in an application form and send it to the Benefits Section at Pippbrook. You can either download a printable 'Benefit Application Form', (see Downloads), or contact MVDC to send you one by post.
Make sure you complete and return the form immediately as benefit is normally awarded from the Monday following the date the application form is received by MVDC. You will also need to provide evidence in support of your claim. Some examples of the proofs required include: ID, pay slips, occupational pension, other benefits, tax credits, all your capital (bank statements, bond certificates, etc).
Please note due to the Covid-19 pandemic our Customer Service reception remains closed and we are asking customers to not send their personal or sensitive documents to us via the post. These documents include:
- Bank statements
- Birth certificates
- NI card
- Drivers Licence
- Medical/Health related information
Instead we are requesting that you scan, screen grab or photograph on your mobile phone the evidence to be submitted and email it to email@example.com . For passports copy only the page containing photo and personal details (ensure the full page is captured in the image). For ID card, residency card, visa or Driving licence copy both pages. If you are providing for more than one ID documents please ensure each document is provided as a separate attachment.
While we are still accepting non personal / sensitive documents and copies of original documents (that you do not want returned) by post, you may also wish to send these by email to us.
We do not need to verify a document that has already been verified by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). If you are in receipt of Universal Credit or any DWP/Pension Credit benefit we can accept that your identity has been verified and there is no need for us to request further information regarding your identity.
If you haven't got all the evidence asked for in support of your claim, send whatever you have with the form straightaway. You can send the rest in within one calendar month. The Benefits Section will write to you for any further information it needs.
If you make a claim for Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based), Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) or Guaranteed Pension Credit then MVDC will write to you for any further information it needs.
The amount of Council Tax Support that you will be entitled to depends upon how much your weekly income is (including Universal Credit) and what your circumstances are, for example, your age, the size of your family and whether anyone in the house is elderly or disabled.
Once the Benefits Section has looked carefully at your income and your circumstances, it then does a calculation. Generally speaking, the higher your income is, the less your weekly Council Tax Support will be.
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (income based), Employment Support Allowance (income related) or Guaranteed Pension Credit and you have no grown up people living with you other than your partner, then you may qualify for full Council Tax Support.
Your claim for Council Tax Support will be continuous for as long as you are entitled. However, the Benefits Section will contact you from time to time either by arranging a visit or by post to check that it is using the correct information to calculate your benefit.
You may be able to claim Council Tax Support for a past period. This is called backdating. Visit the Backdating Claims page for more information.
If you pay council tax, MVDC normally send you a council tax bill showing your Council Tax Support entitlement. You then only pay the reduced amount. This means you will not actually get any money, but your council tax will be less.
If you are unhappy with the decision the Benefits Section has made with your Council Tax Support, you may ask us to explain our decision. Visit the How to Appeal page for more information.
During the time you are receiving Council Tax Support you may have certain changes in your circumstances, such as a change of job, the receipt of another state benefit, or someone moving in, or out of your home.
You must notify the council of all changes in your circumstances, in writing, as soon as they happen. Visit the Change in Circumstance page for more information.
Please note due to the Covid-19 pandemic our Customer Service reception remains closed and we are asking customers to not send their personal or sensitive documents to us via the post.
For telephone enquiries, please ask for the Benefits team on 01306 885001, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.