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Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Council Tax Benefit was abolished on 31 March 2013. It is now up to each Council to devise and administer its own scheme to help those people that cannot pay their Council Tax.

This is now known as Council Tax Reduction (or Council Tax Support)

Three Rivers District Council adopted its scheme on 8 January 2013.

In short the new scheme now has two categories of claimant; pension age and working age.

Pensioners

There are three classes of pensioner who will have their Council Tax Reduction calculated as follows:

Class A - Income does not exceed applicable amount

The applicable amount is a figure that is intended to represent the minimum amount that you would need to live on. If your income is less than this figure or you get Pension Credit (Guarantee) you will get the maximum amount of help less any deductions we have to make for other people (apart from your partner) who may live with you.

For example, if your Council Tax is £20.00 per week, the maximum Council Tax Support will be £20.00 per week.

Class B - Income DOES exceed applicable amount

If your income is MORE than the applicable amount then the maximum award we give you will be reduced  by 20% of the amount which you exceed the applicable amount by.

For example, if your Council Tax is £20.00 per week and your applicable amount is £100.00 but your total income is £110.00, the the most you will get will be:

£20.00 less £2.00 (20% of £10.00) = £18.00 per week

Class C - Alternative maximum council tax reduction (aka 2nd adult rebate)

If you have someone else living with you, who is not your partner and they are on a low income then you can get a reduction of either 25%, 15% or 7.5% depending on that person's income

People of Working Age:

There are two classes of working age claimants

Class 1 - Income does not exceed applicable amount

You will get a maximum award of 100% of Council Tax. However, if you live in a property that is in a Council Tax Band E, F, G or H, the most we will give you will be the amount you would get if you lived in a band D property.

For example, if you live in a Band E property and your Council tax is £24.00 per week, the most that we will pay you will be £20.00 as that is the weekly amount of Council Tax due for a band D property.

You will need to pay the £4.00 per week yourself.

Class 2 - Income DOES exceed applicable amount

If your income is MORE than the applicable amount then the maximum award we give you will be reduced  by 20% of the amount which you exceed the applicable amount by.

This is subject to the condition that the maximum level that we base any award on will be as if you were living in a Council Tax Band D property.

Other changes

In addition, we will no longer pay Council Tax Support if you are of working age and have capital (savings, investments etc) of more than £8,000.

Also, if you have someone else living with you who is not dependent on you (such as a grown up son or daughter) we have increased the amount that we will reduce your Council Tax Support by (a non-dependant deduction).

How to claim

You must complete an application form which can be downloaded below. It is also available from Three Rivers House and South Oxhey Area Housing Office or by telephoning the Benefits Service 01923 773138.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Claim Form (pdf)

To work out how much help you may get, you can use the on-line calculator

The Start Date of Your Council Tax Support Claim

Your claim for Council Tax Support must be made in writing, either on an application form or by letter. Normally we will start your claim from the Monday after we receive your application form or letter. It is therefore very important that you get your application form or letter to us as soon as possible because it affects the date your  claim will start from. If we send you an application form we will allow you 4 weeks to complete and return it. If you take longer than 4 weeks to return the form you might lose some of your entitlement.

The Rules on backdating Council Tax Support

You can only ask for a backdate if there is a reason why you were unable to apply earlier. If you disagree with the date your claim starts from for any other reason you can appeal against the decision.

For more information or to make an application for backdating a Council Tax Support claim, telephone the Benefits section on 01923 773138 or e-mail benefits@threerivers.gov.uk

If you don't tell us about a change, and we pay you too much support, you may have to pay it back. You must tell us about the following changes:-

Changes to the money you get

Please tell us if:-

  •    you start or stop getting Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (income based)
  •    you start or stop getting Tax Credits
  •    the money you or your partner gets increases or decreases
  •    the money non-dependants get increases or decreases
  •    there are any other changes in the money people in your home get. For example, someone starts getting Disability Living Allowance

Changes in your home

Please tell us if:-

  •    you change your address
  •    the number of people in your home changes - for example, someone has a baby
  •    a partner comes to live with you
  •    a partner leaves

Other changes

Please tell us if:-

  •    you, or your partner, go into hospital for more than 6 weeks
  •    you, or your partner, become a student, or stop being a student
  •    the amount of savings or capital you have changes

You do not have to tell us about changes in age (for example, if one your children becomes 11 years old), as we will have this information already.

You can inform us about changes in circumstances by e-mailing benefits@threerivers.gov.uk

Overpayments

When we give you too much Council Tax Support, we call it an 'overpayment'. If we give you too much Support, we will send you a letter.

The letter we send you will tell you:-

  •    why we gave you too much Council Tax Support
  •    how much the overpayment is
  •    if you have to pay back the amount
  •    how you can appeal if you think this is wrong

In most cases we will send you a revised Council Tax bill, and you will usually have to pay more Council Tax.

Benefit Fraud

You can download a Benefit Fraud Referral Form below. This can be used to report suspected fraudulent benefit claims.

Benefit Fraud Referral Form (pdf)

 

BenefitsHealth