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Benefits and Council Tax Support

You may qualify for help with your Council Tax (whether or not you are working) or if you are self-employed.

If you pay rent, you may be able to get Housing Benefit towards the rent you pay.

The amount of help you get will depend on the people who live with you, your income and savings and the amount of Council Tax you pay.

What do we mean by income?

By income, we mean all of the following:

You and your partner’s weekly or monthly pay after tax and National Insurance, all overtime, commission and bonuses, pensions from former employers, Working Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Pension Credit, Savings Credit and other state benefits.

If you claim Pension Credit, Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance, you will get a form from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) when you claim.

Savings and Investments

If you have savings and investments of more than £16,000 you are not entitled to Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit. This includes bank and building society accounts, stocks and shares, National Savings Certificates, unittrusts, Premium Bonds, annuities and any other property or land you own.

Non-Dependant Deductions

We will make deductions from your benefit for any non-dependants living with you, for example, adult children. The amount of deduction will depend upon the amount of the income of your non dependants.

Second Adult Rebate

If you are the only person liable to pay Council Tax, and at pension age, but have other non-liable adults living with you we may be able to use their income and savings to work out your benefit. These ‘second adults’ must not be dependant on you or pay or pay you rent to live in your home; they cannot be your partner either. How much Council Tax support you get depends on their income and savings only, your income and savings are ignored. The most Council Tax support you can get is 25% off your bill.

If you are entitled to both types of support, the one that gives you the most help will be paid.

Any support due to you is credited to your Council Tax account. This will be shown on your Council tax bill.

Second Adult Rebate is not applicable for working age claimants.

How to apply for Benefit

If you want to apply for Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support, please do so immediately. Any Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support we pay will normally only start from the date we receive your application form. We will only backdate your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Support if you had a good reason for not applying for it earlier.

For working age claimants, Council Tax Support will start from the date we receive your application form, a backdate will not apply.

For Benefit advice or to make a claim contact: 01623 457400

Discounts

Not everyone has to pay the full Council Tax, people on low incomes can claim Council Tax

Support for example, as explained above.

There are also a number of other ways that can result in a reduced bill whatever your income.

Single Occupiers Discount

Did you know that a household with one adult occupier (person over the age of 18 years) is entitled to 25% discount?

Even where there are 2 or more adults, you could still get money off if all but one occupier fits a description as follows:-

  • Full time student, student nurse or apprentice
  • A severely mentally impaired person
  • Young adults still eligible for child benefit
  • A full time carer looking after someone

This is not the full list of examples. For more information please contact us. If you get a single person discount you must tell us straight away if another adult comes to live with you.

If you claim a single person discount knowing you are not entitled to it, this will be treated as fraud.

Sharing the Information we have about you with others

Ashfield District Council is required by law to protect the public funds it administers. It may share information provided to it with other bodies responsible for auditing or administering public funds, in order to prevent and detect fraud.

The Audit Commission requires us to participate in a data matching exercise to help prevent and detect fraud. Data matching involves comparing computer records held by one body against other computer records held by the same or another body to see how far they match. No assumption can be made as to whether there is fraud, error or other explanation until an investigation is carried out. We have to give Council Tax and Benefits data to the Audit Commission for matching.

The use of data by the Audit Commission in a data matching exercise is carried out with statutory authority under its powers in Part 2A of the Audit Commission Act 1998. It does not require the consent of the individuals concerned under the Data Protection Act 1998. Data matching by the Audit Commission is subject to a Code of Practice.

Empty Properties

Generally, uninhabitable dwellings and dwellings left unfurnished after vacation get a free period of up to one month. A 75% charge then applies for a further five months. After this period a 100% charge will apply.

Properties empty after two years will be charged an additional 50% premium.

If the dwelling is furnished but unoccupied, no discount will apply.

For more information about empty dwellings, please contact Revenues.