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Council Tax Support

This page tells you about council tax support, second adult rebate, recent forthcoming changes to council tax support and 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 paid depends on
  • you or your partner's income
  • you or 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 our Benefits Calculator - see related pages. You will need details of your incomings to fill this in.
 
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.
 
Changes from 1 April 2013
Council Tax Support replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013 for people who need help with paying their Council Tax. 
 
This means support is now reduced by 19% for some people. Second Adult Rebate has also been abolished for working age households.
 
However there is no change for:
  • Pensioners, their support is worked out exactly as it was before
  • Lone parents of children under the age of 5
  • Households who get the Severe or Enhanced Disability Premium
  • Carers
  • War Widows / Pensioners, including disablement pensions. We will also continue to ignore war pensions when calculating the households income.
The reduction means that a single adult householder living in a Band A property in Leeds who previously had nothing to pay, has £126.06 to pay in 2013/14.
 
A household of 2 or more adults living in a Band A property in Leeds who previously had nothing to pay has £166.74 to pay in 2013/14.
 
Changes from 1 April 2014
In Leeds, more Council Tax Support is being claimed now than was claimed last year, but the funding we get from Government hasn’t increased. This means that the amount of help we can give must reduce again. From 1 April 2014 support will be reduced by 26% for some households, but there is no change for:
  • Pensioners, their support is worked out exactly as it was before
  • Lone parents of children under the age of 5
  • Households who get the Severe or Enhanced Disability Premium
  • Carers
  • War Widows / Pensioners, including disablement pensions.

Council Tax Bills will be sent out in March 2014 to tell you what you have to pay in 2014/15

 
How do I claim it?
Go to the related pages and follow the link for Useful Forms for claiming benefit where you can download and print a benefits claim form. There is also a new claim information booklet which provides details about the benefit claim process and the information we need from you. You can also pick one up from any of our one stop centres - to find out your nearest one stop centre please enter your postcode in ‘Where I Live’. 
 
You can hand your form in at a one stop centre or at your local housing office if you are a council tenant.
 
In most instances we will start your claim for support from the Monday after the submission date providing that you return a completed application form to us within one month of that date. 
Intent to claim can be registered by a telephone call, an email or in writing. However it must be made by the person wishing to claim and must be registered with a designated office: Welfare and Benefits, a one stop centre, a housing office, or a Department of Work & Pensions service office.
 
Contact Us
The address to write to is: Welfare and Benefits, Selectapost 15, Leeds,LS2 8BA
Telephone 0113 222 4404
 
What if I don’t agree with my decision?
Please see disputes and appeals in the related pages section.

Who do the April 2013 changes affect?

Many working age Council Tax Benefit claimants are affected by these changes and will see their benefit change. Pensioners, lone parents of children under 5, war pensioners, carers and people who get the severe or enhanced disability premiums are not affected.

Who can get Council tax Support?

​Anyone liable for Council Tax may apply for Council Tax Support.

You can find out how much help you could get on our benefit calculator.

Online Benefits Calculator

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 download, print off and fill in a Direct Debit form, then post it to us. 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.

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