> | Accessibility: Text Only | Text sizes: X X X | Help | Site Map | Contact | Cookies | Mobile

A to Z of Council Services:

You are here: Home > Apply For ItRevenue Services > Benefits > Council Tax Support > Council tax support

Council tax support

Information about council tax support and how to apply for it.

What is council tax support?

Council tax support is a local scheme paid by the council to help certain groups of people pay their council tax.  Details of the current scheme are shown in the downloads list at the right hand side of this page.

The Second Adult Reduction previously allowed in the scheme will no longer apply for working age people from 1 April 2014 and any current claims for this reduction ended on 31 March 2014.


Who can claim?

You may claim this reduction if you are liable to pay the council tax and you are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based), employment and support allowance (income related), guaranteed pension credit or on a low income.


Can students claim?

As the majority of full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, they cannot claim council tax support.

However, if you are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based), or employment and support allowance (income related) you are a single parent, of pensionable age, or disabled, you may be able to claim and you should make enquiries with the council's benefits' team. If you are a full-time student and you have a partner who is not a student, your partner may be able to claim council tax support.


How do I make a claim?

If you think that you are entitled to council tax support, download and complete an application form and return it to us with all relevant documentation:

You can also request an application form:

  • By telephone or email using the contact details below
  • In person at Lancaster or Morecambe Town Hall between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday
  • By writing to us at Revenues Services, PO Box 4, Lancaster, LA1 1QR

Please note that you cannot receive council tax support until you have completed an application form.


What information do you need to work out my entitlement to council tax support?

You must provide details of your family circumstances; who lives with you, what their income is and what savings and investments they have.

In addition you must provide proof of:

  • Your identity and national insurance number and the identity and national insurance number for your partner, if you have one.
  • Income and capital for you and your partner. We need to see proof of your capital if you hold over £6,000 and you are working age or over £10,000 if you are a pensioner.
  • Other family members circumstances.
     

If you are receiving income support , job seekers allowance (income based), employment and support allowance (income related) or pension credit, you do not need to provide proof of income and capital for you and your partner.

What proof of identity is required?

At least one of the following must be provided for both you and your partner:

  • Bank statements (less than 4 weeks old)
  • Birth certificate (full or short)
  • Driving licence
  • Letter from solicitor/social worker/probation officer or HM Revenues & Customs
  • Marriage certificate
  • Medical card
  • Passport (current and valid)
  • Utility bill for the last quarter/month
  • Wage slips from current employer

Photocopies or scanned images are acceptable.

What proof of national insurance number is required?

At least one document must be provided which shows your national insurance number and at least one document that shows your partner's national insurance number. Photocopies or scanned images are acceptable.

The following are documents that may contain a national insurance number:

  • Wage slips, P45 or P60
  • Tax documents
  • Letters from the Department for Work and Pensions
  • National insurance number card
  • Tax credit statement

When is council tax support awarded from?

If you qualify for council tax support it will be awarded from the Monday following the date you first contact the council for an application form, providing the form is returned within one month of the date it is issued to you. Otherwise council tax support will be paid from the Monday after the form is received by the council.

If you are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based) or employment and support allowance (income related) and you make a claim for council tax support within one month of the date you claim any of these benefits, you will be awarded council tax support from the date your income support , jobseeker's allowance (income based) or employment and support allowance (income related) entitlement starts or the date your council tax liability starts.

Similarly, if you are in receipt of guaranteed pension credit and you make a claim for council tax support within one month of the date you claim guaranteed pension credit you will be awarded council tax support from the date your pension credit is awarded or the date your council tax liability starts.


Can a claim be backdated?

Yes, you can request backdated support if there is a good reason why you did not claim earlier. You must be able to show continuous good cause from the date you are requesting that support is paid from to the date that your claim is made. You must state your reasons on the claim form or enclose a covering letter.

Backdating is limited to 3 months for pensioners and 6 months for working age customers.


How much council tax support will I be entitled to?

If you or your partner are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based), employment and support allowance (income related) or guaranteed pension credit you will be entitled to maximum council tax support, which is 100% of your council tax bill. However if you have anyone else living with you who is not dependent on you then your benefit may be reduced. The amount your benefit will be reduced by will depend on the income and circumstances of the person (or persons) living with you.

If neither you or your partner are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based), employment and support allowance (income related) or guaranteed pension credit, then the amount of support you will receive will depend on your council tax bill, your income and capital (and your partner's income and capital if you are a couple), your personal circumstances and the income and circumstances of anyone else who lives with you.

If you are jointly liable to pay council tax with someone other than your partner you will receive support based on your share of the council tax bill. Please note that joint occupiers (who are not partners) must make separate claims for benefit.

The council will automatically calculate whether you will be better off with council tax support or second adult reduction.


How is council tax support paid?

If you are awarded this support, normally the amount you are entitled to will be used to reduce your council tax bill. However, if you have paid your council tax in full for the year you will be entitled to repayment of the amount of support. Alternatively, you may wish to have the amount of support you are entitled to carried forward to your next year’s council tax bill.

If you do, you must notify the council tax section as soon as possible on telephone number 01524 582900.


What can I do if I think the decision about my council tax support is wrong?

If you have received a decision about council tax support and you think the decision is wrong, you can ask us to explain it, or request a written statement of reasons.

If you still think it is wrong after we have explained it to you, you must write to the council giving the reasons why you think the decision is wrong. We will then write to you to let you know if the decision has been changed or not. If you still think the council's decision is wrong you have two months to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. You will need to fill in an appeal form. The Valuation Tribunal prefer you to do this online at:

www.valuationtribunal.gov.uk/Council_Tax/Forms.aspx

If you have not got access to the internet then you should write to them at:

VT Office
Hepworth House
2 Trafford Court
Doncaster
DN1 1PN

If we fail to respond to your original letter of dispute within two months of receipt then you have the right to appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal.


Change of circumstances

Once you have claimed council tax support you are under a duty to inform the benefits team within 21 days of any changes in your income and circumstances and the income and circumstances of anyone else who lives with you. If you move to a new address you must inform the benefits team immediately. You may need to make a fresh claim for council tax support.

You may lose any increase in support that may be due to you if you do not tell us about changes of circumstances quickly.


Exceptional Hardship Fund

If you need assistance with paying your council tax, an exceptional hardship fund (EHF) is available. The main features of the fund are:

  • The operation of the fund will be at the total discretion of the council
  • You do not have a statutory right to an award
  • The fund will be limited to an agreed sum
  • Any fund award will be made directly to your council tax account
  • Fund payments will only be available from 1 April 2013 and will not be available for any other debt other than outstanding council tax
  • You can not apply for an exceptional hardship payment (or receive one) if you are not in receipt of council tax support at the time
  • The fund is intended to help in cases of extreme hardship only

You must make a claim for an exceptional hardship fund award by submitting an application to our benefits department.

You can also request an application form via telephone (see below) or in person at Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls.

You can get assistance with the completion of the form from Revenues and Benefits Customer Service staff at Lancaster and Morecambe Town Halls. The application must be fully completed and supporting information or evidence provided.

Contacts

Email:

benefits@lancaster.gov.uk

Telephone:

01524 582965

rating icon

Feedback on this webpage

Help us help you by commenting or rating this webpage.

email icon

Email this webpage to a friend

Send a link to this webpage with a summary to a friend.

Feb 2018

M

T

W

T

F

S

S

      1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28        

Lancaster City Council
Town Hall
Dalton Square
Lancaster
LA1 1PJ

Telephone: 01524 582 000

Email customer services