Finding it difficult to pay your council tax bill?
Someone on a low income can get their council tax bill reduced through the Council Tax Support scheme if they meet all the claiming conditions.
Council Tax Support helps people on low incomes and / or certain welfare benefits to pay their council tax bill. If you think you may be entitled you’ll need to apply to your local council for a reduction.
Council Tax Support replaced Council Tax Benefit in April 2013. One of the main differences between this and the old system is that it’s now up to individual councils to decide who gets a reduction in their council tax bill. Each council sets its own rules, and has the power to change these rules from each April,
The amount by which your Council Tax Bill is reduced depends on your income and circumstances. For working age people, regardless of how low their income is, most will have to pay something towards their bill. Local councils vary. The minimum payment varies between local councils – between 0% and 33.1% of the council tax bill.
WBC will write to you explaining what reduction you’ll get and how it has been worked out. They will then send you a new council tax bill for the reduced amount. Your monthly instalments will be lower, as the reduction is spread throughout the rest of the year.
It is worth checking if your council tax bill should be reduced under a different scheme too – the Council Tax Discount Scheme. This can reduce your Council Tax bill in certain cases if you live in a property which has been adapted for the disablement needs of someone in the household, or if there is only one adult (18 or over) in the property (or the other adult is ‘severely mentally impaired’ or a student or a youth trainee or apprentice). Ask WBC if you think this might apply to you - find out more on the WBC website
IMPORTANT! If you claim Universal Credit you have to claim Council Tax Support separately, from the local council. This is different from claiming when you claim Housing Benefit, where it is all on one form.
Some English councils made changes to their Council Tax Support rules from April 2016 due to budget cuts.