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Council Tax Support

This page tells you about:

  • Council Tax Support
  • Changes to the Council Tax Support scheme from April 2015
  • Second Adult Rebate
  • How to apply.

 What is Council Tax Support?

Council Tax Support can reduce the amount of Council Tax you pay or mean that you have nothing to pay.

Who qualifies for Council Tax Support?

Anyone living in the UK who has a low income, and who pays Council Tax can claim Council Tax Support. You can’t claim Council Tax Support if you have capital over £16,000 unless you are over pension age and receive the guarantee element of Pension Credit. Special rules apply for full time students and people from abroad.

The amount of Council Tax Support you may get depends on:

  • you and your partner's income
  • you and your partner's savings
  • the number of children living with you
  • other people in your household
  • if you or your family have any special circumstances, because of illness or disability.

You can find out how much Council Tax Support you could get by using the 'Calculate your benefits entitlement' in the External links section on this page. You will need details of your income.

Leeds Local Council Tax Support Scheme

Local councils are responsible for deciding the level of Council Tax Support to be provided. Since 2013 the Government has reduced funding for local schemes and the Council has decided it cannot afford to make up the full difference in funding. 

This means many working age households get less support now. How Council Tax Support is worked out in Leeds is explained below.

From April there will also be additional support for new Jobseekers. The changes to Council Tax Support for Jobseekers are explained in the Related Pages section and more information is available from the documents section.

Leeds 2015-16 Council Tax Support Scheme can be found in the Documents section.


Second Adult Rebate

If you are pension age and can't get Council Tax Support you may be able to get Second Adult Rebate instead. You might get Second Adult Rebate if you are a single person or a couple where one is disregarded from the Council Tax charge, but there are other adults in your home who have a low income. Second Adult Rebate is based on the income of the ‘second adult’ and not of the applicant.


To claim Council Tax Support 

You will need to download the benefits claim form from the Documents section. In the Documents section you will also find a new claim information booklet which tells you about the benefit claim process and the information we need from you.  You can also get these from a one stop centre. 

You can hand in your completed form at a one stop centre, or if you are a council tenant at your local housing office.


What happens next?

We will write to you to let you know if you have been awarded Council Tax Support. If you do not agree with the decision see the related page Disputes and appeals.​​​​

How is Council Tax Support worked out in Leeds?

In 2013 - 2014 Council Tax Support was reduced by 19% for many working age households. This meant that support was paid at 81% of what was previously allowed under the Council Tax Benefit Scheme.

In 2014 - 2015 the reduction was 26%, which meant that support is paid at 74% of what was allowed under the Council Tax Benefit Scheme.

In 2015 - 16 the reduction will be 25% which means that support will be paid at 75% of what was allowed under the Council Tax Benefit Scheme.

Do the cuts in Council Tax Support affect everyone?

No. Pensioners are protected from the reductions and other vulnerable groups are protected. If you are in any of the groups, the reduction doesn’t affect you, so you should not have more to pay because of the changes. You should contact us if you are in one of the protected groups and your Council Tax Support notification letter shows that your Council Tax Support has been reduced​

Who are the protected groups?

The protected groups are:
Pensioners  People entitled to a Severe Disability Premium People entitled to an Enhanced Disability Premium  Carers  War Widows/War Pensioners  Lone parents with a dependent child under five years old 
Each of these is explained below: 
Pensioners  This means people who are eligible to claim Pension Credit. On 6th March 2015 anyone who was born before 5th October 1952 is eligible to claim Pension Credit. If this applies to you, you are not affected unless you have chosen to claim a working-age benefit instead, such as Income Support, Employment Support Allowance or Jobseekers Allowance.
  
Who is entitled to a Severe Disability Premium?
To qualify you must meet all of the following criteria:  Be in receipt of the high or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance, any rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments, armed forces independence payment or attendance allowance and Not be looked after by someone who receives Carer’s Allowance for looking after you and Have no one living with you aged over 18 years old unless that person is registered blind or in receipt of high or middle rate care component of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance or any rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments or armed forces independence payment. 

Who is entitled to an Enhanced Disability Premium?
To qualify:  You, or your partner if you have one, or a child or young person in the family, must receive the highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance, or the enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments, or an armed forces independence payment or  You must receive the support component of Employment Support Allowance. 

Who qualifies as a Carer?
To qualify as a carer you, or your partner if you have one, 
Must be entitled to Carer’s Allowance or 

Must have made a claim for Carer’s Allowance and would be entitled, but have chosen not to claim it because the person you care for would lose some of their benefits, or 

Receive income support or Universal Credit as a carer. The person receiving care must also receive one of these benefits: Attendance Allowance, the middle or highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance or any rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payments, Constant Attendance Allowance at or above the normal maximum rate with an Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, or basic (full day) rate with a War Disablement Pension or an armed Forces Independence Payment

War Widows / War Pensioners To qualify you must be in receipt of a War Widows Pension, War Disablement Pension or Armed Forces Compensation Payment. 

Lone parents with a dependent child under five years old  To qualify you must be responsible for one or more dependent children under the age of five and not have a partner living with you.  ​​​

How can I pay?

​You will receive full details with your bill but Direct Debit is the easiest way to pay. When you get your bill call us on (0113) 222 4404 with your bank account details and we will do the rest. Alternatively you can apply online at www.leeds.gov.uk/counciltax. Once the Direct Debit is set up, each month on the due dates we will ask your bank for payment direct from your bank account. 

You can also pay by standing order, telephone banking or online banking. Make payments to: Nat West, Head Office Collection Account No 00000000,
Sort code 57-12-72. Please give your Council Tax account number (it is on your bill).

You can also pay by debit card over the telephone - available every day, 24 hours a day phone (0113) 395 7100 and follow the easy, step-by-step instructions.

You can pay over the internet - available every day, 24 hours a day. You can pay safely and securely online. See Top Tasks.

You can also pay at any Post Office or Paypoint outlet for free - just take your Council Tax bill with you. At the Post Office you can pay by cash or cheque but Paypoint outlets are cash-only.​​

I am worried about not being able to make the payments, what should I do?

​If you find you cannot pay your bill when you get it please telephone us on 0113 222 4404, we may be able to make an arrangement to pay in small instalments, for example if it is easier for you to pay weekly or fortnightly we could help.​

Backdating benefits

If, for whatever reason, you wish to have your benefits backdated, please also fill out the 'Backdate request' form along with your original claim form. You can find these in the Documents section on this page.

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