Council tax support

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2. Changes to Council Tax Support Scheme

From 1 April 2017, there will be changes to the benefit schemes including our Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This is to bring it in line with Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. None of these changes will affect pensioners.

The Council Tax Reduction scheme

  • removing Family Premium for all new claims
  • backdating will be limited to one month
  • temporary absence outside of Great Britain must be 4 weeks or less for any entitlement to Council Tax Reduction to continue
  • removing the work related activity component in the calculation for new Employment and Support Allowance recipients. This mirrors changes to Employment and Support Allowance
  • a limit of two children within the calculation for working age claims. This means there is no allowance for the third or subsequent child born after 1 April 2017. Some exceptions will apply. This brings it into line with Housing Benefit which also changes from April 2017
  • where someone is paid the carers element within their Universal Credit for looking after a disabled person, that disabled person will not have the Severe Disability Premium included in the assessment for Council Tax Reduction. This ensures the carer's element is treated in the same way as Carers Allowance.
  • additional earnings disregard will no longer apply to a person who has Universal Credit which includes earnings

Minimum Income Floor (MIF) 

  • setting a minimum income for self-employed earners of working age claims. This means a set amount will be used if the actual earnings are below the set level. This will apply after 1 year of self-employment.

Ages

National Minimum Wage (NMW)   

35 hours   

Per annum

Aged over 25 

£7.50

£262.50

£13,687.50

21-24

£7.05

£246.75

£12,866.25

18-20

£5.60

£196.00

£10,220.00

Under 18

£4.05

£141.75

£7,391.25

Exceptional Hardship Policy

An Exceptional Hardship Policy  has been introduced from 1 April 2017. 

It has been created to assist people who have applied for Council Tax Support (CTS) and who are facing ‘exceptional hardship’ meeting the cost of their outstanding council tax liability.

It’s available to those most in need and those who have been significantly affected by the introduction of changes to the CTS scheme.

Payment will be awarded at the discretion of the authority after careful consideration of the family circumstances. It will usually be made as a one off payment, reducing the amount of the outstanding council tax liability.

You can apply by downloading and completing the EHF application and returning it to: Revenue and Benefit Services, Forde House, Brunel Road, Newton Abbot TQ12 4XX.