Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means tested financial assistance towards paying your rent and your Council Tax.
If you are in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers Allowance (Income based) or Employment & Support (Income Related) you will receive maximum eligible Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support based on 90% of your Council Tax charge. If you are a pension age claimant in receipt of Pension Credit Guarantee you will receive full Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
If you are on any other benefits or have a low income we do an assessment based on the means testing rules. This is explained below.
A means test is a comparison with what monies you, and a partner if applicable, have coming into your household against what the government set as a figure someone in your circumstances can live off (we call this an ‘Applicable Amount’).
- We have rules that tell us how income is to be worked out.
- The ‘applicable amount’ takes into account your personal circumstances (for example the figure would be different for a single person to that of a couple with two children) and is up-rated every year in line with inflation.
Your income is compared against this ‘Applicable Amount’ and the higher your income when compared to the ‘applicable amount’ the less Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support you get.
Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support are means tested help and your income and savings will affect how much help you receive. If you or your partner have savings of over £16,000, you will not be eligible for either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.
Capital (savings) - Working Age
Housing Benefit Regulations and the Local Council Tax Support Scheme state how we must treat any capital or savings you have. This includes land and property other than your home as well as stocks, shares, bonds, bank and building society accounts. The first £6,000 of your capital is disregarded and not counted in the benefit calculation but for every part or full £250 above £6,000, we must add £1 to your weekly income when we calculate benefit.
Capital (savings) - Pensioners
Benefit Regulations and the Local Council Tax Support Scheme state how we must treat any capital or savings you have. This includes land and property other than your home as well as stocks, shares, bonds, bank and building society accounts etc.
The £16,000 capital limit will continue to apply in the calculation of Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support except when the claimant is entitled to the guarantee credit, in this case the whole of the income and capital will be disregarded.
If you are over 60, the first £10,000 of your capital is disregarded and not counted in the benefit calculation but for every part or full £500 above £10,000, we must add £1 to your weekly income when we calculate benefit
Proof of Capital (savings)
We need to see proof of all capital held by either:
- Your husband/wife/partner
- Your non-dependants - this may be needed, but not in all cases
By capital we mean all your money - not just what you would call “savings”. Examples of capital that we must be told about include:
- Bank and Building Society Accounts (including current/cheque accounts)
- Post Office accounts
- Premium Bonds
- Stocks and Shares
- Land or Property (but not the home you live in)
Acceptable forms of evidence or proof include:
- Current bank or building society statements which show credits and debits and the outstanding balance over a period of two months
- Building society or post office books which show credits and debits and the outstanding balance over a period of two months
Original documents showing proof of ownership for example, dividend statements detailing assets for:
- Saving Certificates
- Unit Trusts
- Stocks and Shares, etc.
We need to see the original documents, not photocopies. If you do not provide the documents we need, your benefit may be delayed. If you cannot provide proof for any reason, you should contact the Benefits Team immediately who will advise you what to do. The Benefit Team can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The government regulations state that in the majority of circumstances when you have an adult over 18 living with you who is not your partner, a deduction is to be made from your benefit entitlement.
This deduction, called a ‘non-dependent deduction’, is made as the rules expect that the other adults, usually adult sons or daughters or other relatives, will help you pay towards the rent and or council tax.
The amount of the deduction depends on the circumstances of the non dependent(s) and is set by the government.
If either you or your partner are registered blind, receive either Attendance Allowance or the Care component of Disability Living Allowance there is no non-dependent deduction.
West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard