In April 2013, the Government abolished the national Council Tax Benefit scheme and asked each Council to replace it with a local scheme called Council Tax Support.
Council Tax Support is a local scheme designed to help people on low incomes pay their Council Tax. Pensioner claims for Council Tax Support are determined according to a national scheme which is set by the Government.
How much support you receive will depend on:
- the income and savings of the people living in your household
- the amount of Council Tax you have to pay
- whether you are of working age or pensionable age (to be pensionable age you or your partner must be at the age at which you could claim Pension Credit. You can check this on the Gov.UK website.)
- whether you are classed as "severely disabled"
The Council Tax Support scheme in Telford and Wrekin for working age customers who are not classed as "severely disabled" is broadly based on the former Council Tax Benefit scheme but with the following important changes:
- anyone with savings or capital of more than £6,000 will not be entitled to claim support
- any entitlement is reduced by 21% so everyone will have to pay at least something towards their Council Tax bill
- anyone who is entitled to less than £2.50 per week in Council Tax Support will not receive any assistance
- customers who have a good reason for failing to apply for help immediately will be entitled to apply to have their award for Council Tax Support backdated for a maximum of one month
- Second Adult Rebate does not exist under the scheme
- single people with an annual income from state benefits of £13,400 or more will not receive any assistance
- couples (with or without children) and lone parents with children with an annual income from state benefits of £20,000 or more will not receive any assistance
- a minimum weekly income equivalent to the rate of 30 hours at the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage for those aged 25 or over) will be applied for claimants and/or partners who have been self-employed for more than 12 months and are earning less than this amount
How much am I entitled to?
The amount of your entitlement will depend on
- your circumstances
- the make-up of your household
- your income and the income of anyone who lives with you
- the amount of Council Tax that you are charged
You can use our online calculator to give you an estimate. However, accurate entitlement can only be determined when a full application backed by the relevant documentation is submitted to the Council.
When should I claim?
It is important that you make a claim for Council Tax Support as soon as you can. Please do not delay in contacting us to tell us you want to make an application.
When will my claim start?
The date your claim will start depends on how and when you claim Council Tax Support.
We normally start your claim from the Monday after you first made contact with us or the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) but only if you complete the claim process within one month. If you don't complete the claim process within one month your claim will usually start from the Monday after we receive your completed claim.
It is therefore very important that you contact us as soon as you want to claim and that you attend any appointments we make for you.
Can you start my claim from an earlier date?
We cannot usually start your claim any sooner. However, in certain circumstances we may be able to backdate your claim for up to a maximum of one month. To be considered for this you must:
- make a request for backdating in writing
- tell us the date you want to claim from
- tell us why you didn't make your claim earlier- give us as much information as you can in support of your request
- if your income was any different during the backdate period then you must provide evidence of it
We will then look at your request and decide whether you have good cause for not making your claim sooner.