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Council Tax Support

Apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support Claim

Council Tax Support is a local scheme that helps people with low income to pay their Council Tax.

In April 2013 the Government removed Council Tax Benefit and reduced the grant given to Councils to fund these benefits. To cover the reduced funding, Spelthorne adopted its own Local Council Tax Support Scheme. Pensioners will be exempt from this scheme. Pensioners will remain under the national Central Government scheme rules. 

The Council's local scheme is:

  • working age claimants will pay a minimum of 25% of their Council Tax
  • people with disabilities will pay a minimum of 10% of their Council Tax
  • pensioners will continue to be protected

View a copy of our Icon for pdf Council Tax Support Scheme Regulations [2.33MB]

About Council Tax Support

This is a scheme that is available to help Council Tax payers on a low income pay their Council Tax. The Local Council Tax Support Scheme was introduced on 1 April 2013 to replace Council Tax Benefit.

Council Tax Support is calculated in the same way as Council Tax Benefit by looking at your income, savings and household circumstances.

Do I qualify for Council Support?

To qualify for Council Tax Support you must be:

  • on a low income
  • the person responsible for paying the Council Tax
  • your savings must be under £16,000

What proof do I need?

    Documentary proof of:

    • earned income (five weekly, or two monthly, most recent consecutive payslips)
    • your self employed accounts (certified accounts or your own accounts or books) (special forms are sent for completion)
    • private, occupational pension (latest pension slip or other proof of amount received)
    • government pension (latest notification)
    • other Government benefits or pensions (latest notification)
    • Income Support (latest notification)
    • any other income (latest notification)
    • savings/capital, two months bank statements, share/savings certificates, building society books
    • other adults' income before deductions

    You will need to provide the original documents to prove your identity.

    How do I query my benefit calculation?

    You can contact the Housing Benefits office to request a written explanation.

    If you think we have made a mistake you can ask for your claim to be looked at again. You should contact us within one calendar month of being informed about your benefit and give all your reasons why you think it is wrong. Once we have reassessed your case, we will write to you with the outcome.

    If you still disagree after your claim has been looked at again, you can ask for a further independent review. This request has to be in writing and you must say why you disagree. You need to do this within one calendar month of being informed of the revised decision.

    Second Adult Rebate or Alternative Maximum Council Tax Support

    You may claim Second Adult Rebate (SAR) if you are the liable person for Council Tax and other adult(s) live in your home who are on low income. For example

    • Single Parent with adult son/daughter(s) on income support, low wages or benefits/pensions
    • Single Liable Person with adult sister/brother(s) or friend on income support, low wages, or benefits/pensions

    You may not claim if the other adult has capital (savings) over £16,000.

    You may not claim benefit if the other adult is:

    • your partner
    • your lodger
    • your tenant
    • your subtenant
    • a joint owner
    • disregarded for Council Tax
    • a jointly liable person for Council Tax
    • under age 18

    Reductions in Council Tax range from 7.5% to 25% dependant on the income of the second adult.

    A claim form can be obtained by contacting Housing Benefits.

    Change of circumstances

    You need to inform us of any change in circumstances that may affect your benefit entitlement within one calendar month. Failure to do this may result in an overpayment being made which you will have to repay.

    For example:

    • if you move
    • if someone in your household, including yourself and partner, starts or ceases to receive income support
    • if any rent you receive from a sub-tenant increases or decreases
    • if someone enters or leaves your household (ie someone who stays longer than two weeks)
    • if the circumstances of someone in the household changes, eg starts work, leaves school, gets married etc
    • if you have baby
    • if your child reaches the age of 18
    • if the income of anyone in the household changes in any way, including wage increases, pension increases

    If you go into hospital for a period less than 52 weeks you will not lose benefit. If you or your partner are in hospital for a period exceeding 52 weeks you must contact the Benefit Office as benefit will be downrated.

    You can inform by using our change of circumstances form.

    Backdating benefit

    Under the Council Tax Support scheme regulations in Spelthorne, we are unable to backdate benefit before the date of the claim, ie. the Monday following the date the claim was received by the Council or the date income support started. This applies to all claims.

    In certain cases however an exception can be made but the claimant must show "good cause" for the reason the claim was late and this is defined as follows:

    " - some fact which, having regard to all the circumstances (including the claimant's state of health and the information which he had received and that which he might have obtained) would probably have caused a reasonable person of his age and experience to act (or fail to act) as the claimant did".

    If you wish to make a claim for backdating of benefit you must do so in writing to the Housing Benefits Manager at the Council Offices together with your reasons for not claiming at an earlier date. Backdating is limited to three months for working age claimants and pensioners.

    It is expected that people will take reasonable steps to find out if benefits are due to them. For example, the Citizens Advice Bureau offers help and advice, as does the local authority itself.

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