From 1st April 2013 the Government is abolishing the national Council Tax Benefit scheme. As a result, every council has to replace it with a new local scheme which, for the residents of Broxtowe, the new scheme will be called Council Tax Support.
Under the Council Tax Benefit scheme, Councils generally received a 100% grant from the Government to cover the cost of the awards made. From April 2013, Councils will only receive a maximum grant of 90% for any awards made under a local scheme.
The Government has said that people who have reached the age for state pension credit will not be affected by these changes and that vulnerable claimants are to be protected as well. This means that the people most significantly affected by this change will be working age claimants.
Following a recent consultation with the residents of the borough, Broxtowe Borough Council has chosen to fund the cut in the central government grant and not pass this on to vulnerable and low income households. In common with around 25% of other Councils across the country, Broxtowe Borough Council has decided to adopt a local scheme that mirrors the previous national Council Tax Benefit system. This means that any resident of the borough who is entitled to maximum Council Tax Support will continue to receive 100% of their Council Tax liability.
What is Council Tax Support?
It is a means tested support scheme which aims to help people who are on a Department for Work and Pensions benefit, have low paid jobs or low incomes to pay their Council Tax. The support scheme rules are set and administered by Broxtowe Borough Council. No money is paid, instead the Council Tax bill is reduced by the amount of support awarded. Please click on the Council Tax Support Scheme document link for further information.
Who can apply for Council Tax Support?
Anyone who is liable for Council Tax can apply. In the case of couples, a joint application should be made. The amount of support awarded is based on the number of people living in the household, the amount of money coming in, the level of any capital or savings, the age and circumstances of the people living in the household and the Council Tax charge.
I currently receive Council Tax Benefit; do I need to apply for Council Tax Support?
Anyone who currently receives Council Tax Benefit will be automatically transferred onto the new support scheme. Your entitlement to Council Tax Support will be calculated using the information we hold on our records and by using the new Council Tax Support Scheme rules.
In March 2013 you will be sent a new Council Tax bill and a Council Tax Support award notice, this will show you how your support has been calculated. If you claim Housing Benefit, you will receive a notice that will also show how much help you will get towards your rent. Due to you automatically being moved onto the new scheme, the details we hold may be reviewed throughout the year.
If you do not want to receive Council Tax Support please contact the Council either in writing or by telephone using the contact details provided under the Contact Us link.
I have had a change in my circumstances since I last claimed Council Tax Benefit what should I do?
If you receive Council Tax Benefit and have had any change in circumstances since you last claimed, such as a person may have moved in or out of your property, or you may have had an increase in your income, savings or capital you must tell us.
- Download and complete a change of circumstances form; or
- Telephone 0115 917 77 77 and report the change
- Write to or visit the Council Offices.
How can I apply for Council Tax Support if I have never claimed before?
- Download an application form
- Request an application form by telephoning 0115 917 77 77.
- Write to or visit the Council Offices. See 'Contact Us' for full address.
You will be required to supply original documents to prove your identification, income and capital in support of your application, details are on the form.
How will I know how much Council Tax Support I will get?
Once your application form and supporting evidence is received, your award will be calculated. A notification informing you of your award figure and details of how it has been calculated will be issued to you along with a revised Council Tax Bill. You must apply on time to prevent loss of support that you may be entitled to. In general Council Tax Support will only be paid from the date the claim was received or from the following Monday.
What is the maximum Council Tax Support I can get?
Support can be up to 100% of the Council Tax bill for any applicant.
Who is classed as Working Age?
People who apply for Council Tax Support and are aged between 18 years and State Pension Qualifying Age are classed as working age. It is this group of people that will be mostly affected by the cut in Government funding. Broxtowe Borough Council, however, has chosen to fund the shortfall so that all working age claimants should not see a difference between the previous Council Tax Benefit Scheme and the new local Council Tax Support scheme.
Who is protected from these changes?
Pensioners are protected from these changes and people who fall into the vulnerable group which can be, people who are in receipt of a War Pension, working age claimants who meet the criteria for a disability premium, child disability premium, enhanced disability premium or a severe disability premium, and the support component of Employment and Support Allowance.
What can I do if I am unhappy with the level of support I am awarded?
Once you have received your award notice and if you disagree with the information used in the calculation, you can ask us to look at your assessment again. Please contact the Council using the details provided under 'Contact Us':
I am a pensioner, will my entitlement change?
Due to the Government's annual increases in state pensions and non-dependant uprating figures, if you have an increase in your state pension or have adults living in your households, your entitlement may change.
Why do I have to pay more Council Tax compared to a friend who lives in a neighbouring Council?
Each Council sets its own annual Council Tax charge and provides a Council Tax Support scheme with its own set of rules. These will vary from Council to Council due to amount of funding they receive from the Government.
Why does my neighbour pays less Council Tax than I do, when we both have the same financial circumstances?
Council Tax Support is calculated based on a number of things individual to each household, such as the age of the applicants, how many people live in a property, how much income and capital is being received, and whether applicants are in receipt of any disability type benefits.
I currently receive 25% single persons discount off my Council Tax Bill, will I still get this?
This will continue until another adult moves into your household or if a person in your family who lives with you reaches the age of 18.