What is Council Tax Reduction?

Following a consultation in Autumn 2019, the council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme (formerly known as Council Tax Support) for working age customers is changing from 1 April 2020. Pensionable age customers are not affected by these changes.

The scheme is based on an income grid – depending on the applicant’s income and family circumstances.

Some of the main features of the working age scheme are:

  • there are no non-dependant deductions
  • the capital limit is £6,000; anyone with capital above this level won’t qualify
  • those who have been self-employed for more than 12 months and who are earning less than the equivalent rate of 30 hours at the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage for those aged 25 or over) will have this level of self-employed income applied to their claim
  • claims and changes of circumstances take effect from either the date they are received or the date the change happened
  • claims can be backdated for up to 3 months from when the request is received.

Income Grid 2020/21

Council Tax Reduction level Passported* Single** Couples** Families with one child** Families with two or more children**
Level 1 – 90% Relevant Benefit £0 – £74.99 £0 – £117.99 £0 – £181.99 £0 – £246.99
Level 2 – 75% N/A £75 – £104.99 £118 – £152.99 £182 – £221.99 £247 – £291.99
Level 3 – 50% N/A £105 – £134.99 £153 – £187.99 £222 – £261.99 £292 – £336.99
Level 4 – 25% N/A £135 – £164.99 £188 – £222.99 £262 – £301.99 £337 – £381.99

* Passported / relevant benefit includes customers on income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, and Income Support.
** Weekly eligible income (£) – all income received by the applicant and any partner, excluding any income detailed in the income disregards detailed below.

Income disregards

The following benefits are disregarded in full when working out a customer's weekly eligible income: Armed Forces Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance Bereavement Support Payment for one month, Carer’s Allowance, Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, the Support component of Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit Housing Costs (pro-rata amount where full Universal Credit is not being paid), War Widow(er)’s Pension and War Disablement Pension, including Service Attributable Pensions. A full list can be found in Schedule 4 of our Council Tax Reduction Scheme document.

In addition, the first £20 of earnings are income disregarded per claim where the claimant and/or partner are working. Tax, National Insurance and 50% of any pension contributions will continue to be disregarded from earned income.

If a customer cannot afford the shortfall between their weekly Council Tax Reduction and their weekly Council Tax liability, they can apply for Council Tax Reduction Hardship Assistance. This also applies to customers who were previously entitled to Council Tax Reduction on 31 March 2020 but the changes to the scheme mean that they are no longer entitled.

Pensioners are not affected by these changes and will continue to be assessed under the national prescribed scheme. However, in the case of a couple where one member is a pensioner and the other is of working age, if they receive a working age benefit, e.g. Universal Credit, Income Based Jobseeker's Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Income Support, they will be treated as a working age couple.

Last updated: 11.38am on Monday 24 February 2020

  1. Introduction
  2. Protected groups
  3. Changes from 1 April 2020
  4. Contact