Local Council Tax support FAQs

accordion | Local Council Tax Support FAQs

Frequently asked questions about local Council Tax support

Does pensioner protection mean that all pensioners will get support?

No. As at present, pensioner entitlement will be based on a means test and/or receipt of a qualifying benefit (pension credit guarantee credit).

How will pensioners be protected, and what about those who reach the qualifying age in the future?

There will be regulations setting out which classes of pensioner must be included in a local authority’s scheme, and the amount of reduction pensioners within those classes will receive. The intention is that the schemes, so far as relating to vulnerable pensioners, will operate in a way very similar to what is in place now in relation to council tax benefit. People reaching pension-credit age in future will be able to apply under the new scheme – it will not be limited to those already in receipt of support.

I do not pay anything now, will I have to pay something?

If you are of working age and you claim Council Tax Support, then yes, you will have to pay something towards your Council Tax unless you are in one of the protected groups that we propose to protect, War Disablement Pensioners/War Widows and the disabled. People claiming Council Tax Benefit now who receive 100% Council Tax Benefit, will have to pay approximately 10% of their Council Tax bill from April 2013. This includes people on Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance, Employment and Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. Our new scheme proposes that everybody pays something unless protected.

Increase in State Pension age to 66

The UK pension age is now 66 years old for both men and women.

I get Income Support, or income-based Jobseekers Allowance, or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. Will this change affect me?

Yes it will affect you. It is expected that most working-age claimants getting Council Tax Support will have to pay something towards their Council Tax even if they are getting full benefit. You may have to pay at least 10% of your Council Tax.

You might not have to pay this if you are in one of our protected groups such as a War Disablement Pensioner, War Widow(er), a carer or disabled.

Is my feedback anonymous?

Your feedback on the new scheme is anonymous and it will not affect your current claim for Council Tax Benefit. We will not collect your name and address unless you provide it but we do need to collect some information about your age, ethnic origin, disabilities to help us ensure we have a good cross-section of views from our residents. Please take time to read our proposals and provide us with your honest feedback - all feedback given will be taken into account when making any final decisions on the new scheme.

Is the Government going to prescribe which vulnerable groups are going to be protected?

Billing authorities have a range of responsibilities in relation to vulnerable groups. Other than pensioners (who cannot reasonably go to work), the Government has not prescribed exactly how councils should draw up their local support schemes.

Is the material in other formats as I have a disability?

If you would like a copy of this leaflet in large, clear print, audio, braille or in another language, please contact customer services using the general enquiries form

Or you can visit us at:
West Lindsey District Council
Marshall’s Yard
DN21 2NA.

Please note, documents requested for transcription are sent out within 10 working days.

Universal Credit is being introduced from October 2013 for working age claimants and will replace Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Jobseekers’ Allowance, Income Support and Employment and Support

No, it will not replace Council Tax Support. One of the reasons why Council Tax Support is being implemented was because the Government could not find a way to put Council Tax Support into Universal Credit and they also wanted to localise the support for Council Tax rather than it being controlled and managed from central government. 

Universal Credit will be treated in the same way as the predecessor benefits it replaces under the new Council Tax Support scheme when we calculate entitlement. The precise rules to do this are being developed as more information about Universal Credit becomes known.

What do you mean by working age?

Any adult who has not reached their 66th birthday.

Will Council Tax Support be uprated every April like it currently does under Council Tax Benefit?

This is expected to be part of the localised Council Tax Support scheme.

Who has to pay Council Tax?

Council Tax is a charge which is usually paid by the people living in the property. The full tax assumes that there are at least two adults living in the property. If there is only one occupant in the home, they may be eligible for a 25% discount. The tax is also paid by the property owner where the property is unoccupied and no relief is applicable. There are exemptions and discounts for properties that are empty or occupied by certain organisations or people.

Where can I find more information?

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a local tax on domestic properties. It is set by the council based on a property’s valuation band. Each home is placed in one of eight valuation bands based on its value at 1 April 1991.

The Council is responsible for collecting Council Tax and this money helps fund local public services, including refuse collection, social services, roads, environmental health and education.

What is Council Tax Support?

Council Tax Support is a local Council Tax Discount which has replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013 and is shown as a reduction on your Council Tax bill. It is means tested to help you pay your Council Tax and means the amount you get depends on things like:

  • Your income
  • Your savings and investments
  • The amount of your Council Tax
  • Other people who live with you

What is the default scheme? Is it a model scheme?

No. The default scheme takes effect only if an authority fails to approve a scheme on or before 31 January 2013. If the billing authority approves a scheme on or before 31 January 2013, it is not the default scheme (even if it is similar to it).