What is Local Council Tax Support?

Local Council Tax Support replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013. Council Tax Benefit was a national scheme which helped people on a low income pay their Council Tax.

The rules about who received Council Tax Benefit and how much they received were set by the Government and local councils ran the scheme on the Government’s behalf.

From 1 April 2013, councils had to design their own local scheme to support working-age people on a low income to pay their Council Tax. This is known as Local Council Tax Support. The Government still set the rules for pensioners, however, each local council decides what rules they will have for working-age people.

Our Local Council Tax Support scheme helps to support over 26,300 of the poorest households in Doncaster to receive a reduction in their Council Tax.

The Council's Local Council Tax Support scheme

Our scheme is mainly the same as the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme. However, because the Council receives less Government grant to run the local scheme, some changes were made to the rules for working age people in 2013 and 2014.

The main differences to the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme are:

  • The rate at which support is withdrawn increased from 20% to 30%. This applies when your income is higher than the amount you should be able to live on, using amounts set by the Government for Housing Benefit. For every £1 over that amount, the maximum Council Tax Support amount will be reduced by 30 pence.
  • All child benefit is included in the assessment of how much income someone has when we work out their Council Tax Support.
  • Maintenance received for children or from a former partner is included in the assessment of how much income someone has when we work out their Council Tax Support. 
  • Alternative Maximum Council Tax Benefit (Second Adult Rebate) is removed for working age claims.

These changes do not apply to pensioners or anyone receiving maximum Council Tax Support because they also receive Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Since 1 April 2015 the Council had to change its Local Council Tax Support scheme due to the annual changes in the rules set by Government for pensioners, known as uprating, and to match these for our rules for working-age people.

A copy of Doncaster's current scheme for 2016/17 and the Equality Impact Assessment is attached to this page.

Changes to Local Council Tax Support from April 2017

The Council has to change its Local Council Tax Support scheme from 1 April 2017 based on amendments prescribed by the Government including changes to some rates used to work out entitlement for those of pension age.

The Council is also changing some of the rates used to work out entitlement for working age people. These changes are in line with the Government uprating of Housing Benefit allowances for working age people. No other local changes to the scheme are being made for 2017/2018.

The Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2017/2018 was decided at a meeting of all Doncaster Councillors on 26 January 2017. A copy of the scheme and the associated Equality Due Regard Statement are attached to this page.

Can I qualify for help?

If you have a low income, you may be entitled to some help with your Council Tax. Our Council Tax Support scheme can pay all or part of your Council Tax. The amount of help you get generally depends on your income and savings and the income and savings of anyone else who lives in your home.

You may qualify for support if you: 

  • pay Council Tax for your home
  • are on Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance, or Pension Credit
  • are working and on low pay including self employed
  • are on Universal Credit (depending on your total income, including wages)
  • do not have more than £16,000 in savings (if you receive Pension Credit Guarantee, you may still be entitled to help) 

How much you will qualify for depends on your circumstances, including how much your income is and who else lives in the property with you.

You will still need to make a claim for Council Tax Support if you receive, or are making a claim for, Universal Credit. 

If you have reached state pension age, you can claim Second Adult Rebate to help with your Council Tax. This is based on the circumstances of other adults who live with you

You can find out how much Council Tax Support or Second Adult Rebate you could be entitled to; by using our online calculator.

How to apply

You must apply directly to us. Apply straight away using our online form, you can also claim Housing Benefit at the same time:

If you need help to complete the online application form, call into the Council's Civic Office in Waterdale, Doncaster or any Customer Service Centre or St Leger Homes Area Housing Office.

If you are unable to apply online, for example, if you need help but are housebound, contact the Benefits helpline on 01302 735336 and ask for an application form to be sent to you. 

For more information on claiming Council Tax Support, including how to report changes in your circumstances, please visit the Claiming Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support and Useful forms pages. 

 

 
Last updated: 06 October 2017 16:00:51