Council Tax Support


What is it?

Council Tax Support will help to pay your Council Tax bill if you are on a low income.

Council Tax Support is different to any discount or exemption.

From 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was abolished and was replaced by our Council Tax Support scheme. Each local authority will have their own scheme. From 1 April 2014, the amount that you have to pay towards your Council Tax will increase to a minimum of 13%. This was agreed by our Members in December 2013.

When Council Tax Support has been worked out, you will get a revised Council Tax bill that will tell you what you need to pay.

2017 Changes

There'll be changes to the amount of Council Tax Support we can give to residents on low income on 2017. Between July and August 2016 we ran a consultation asking residents to choose from 13 different changes we could make to Council Tax Support, starting on 1 April 2017.

The agreed changes are as follows:

Proposed Changes Decision
Maximum Council Tax Support Reduced from 87% to 80%
Family Premium Not offered for new claims from 1 April 2017
Work Related Activity Component of Employment Support Allowance Removed from applicable amount from 1 April 2017
Personal allowance for each child limited to two children For new claims from 1 April 2017
Temporary absence outside of Great Britain Four weeks
Non dependent deductions Various rates depending on the circumstances

Who is eligible for Council Tax Support?

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To get Council Tax Support, you must:

  • Be on a low income
  • Be the person responsible for paying Council Tax

You will not normally qualify for benefit if you have savings or investments of more than £16,000. You may have more savings than this and still get Council Tax Support if you or your partner get the guaranteed part of Pension Credit.

Use our Benefit Calculator to see what help you can get.

Apply for Council Tax Support

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To apply for Council Tax Support, fill in our Benefit application form or you can call 01622 602557.

If you are an owner occupier making a new claim for Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre, they may not pass your details to us to make a claim for Council Tax Support. You do need to make a separate claim.

If you're renting a property and making a claim for Housing Benefit, as well as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre they will take all the details and pass them on to us. This means that you won't need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support.

Evidence Required

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We need to see the documents that prove you need benefit before we can pay you. They can either be originals or copies.

You can send them to us using our online form or by post to:

Benefits
Maidstone House
King Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6JQ

Evidence you need to provide

  • National Insurance numbers for you and your partner. Your partner needs to be someone you’re married to or living with as though you’re married.
  • Identity for you and your partner. For example a passport or driving licence.
  • Capital, savings and investments, including all bank and building society current and savings accounts.
  • Earnings of everyone living with you, including your partner and anyone else over 18.
  • Any other income.
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions.
  • Private rent and tenancy/recent mortgage statement or utility bill if you own your own home.

If you do not have all the evidence you can send the form in first and then send the rest of the evidence later. We need to have all the evidence within a month, but your claim will start from the first day we receive your application form.

If you are an owner occupier making a new claim for Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre, they may not pass your details to us to make a claim for Council Tax Support. You do need to make a separate claim.

If you're renting a property and making a claim for Housing Benefit as well as Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support or Employment and Support Allowance through the Jobcentre they will take all the details and pass them on to us – so you will not need to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support.

If you don’t get the evidence to us within a month we may not be able to pay you any Council Tax Support. Just tell us if you’re having problems getting your evidence together and we can help. Email housingbenefit@maidstone.gov.uk or call 01622 602557.

Make an Appeal

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If you're not satisfied with our decision on your Council Tax Support, or how we have explained our decision, you can ask that we reconsider our decision.

Send your request in writing to:

Benefits
Maidstone House
King Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6JQ

You need to make it clear which decision you are asking us to reconsider and your reasons why. You need to do this within a month of the decision you are appealing against.

We will write to confirm or amend our original decision.

If you still don't agree with our decision you can send an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service, who will consider your case independently.

Council Tax Reduction Team
First Floor
Hepworth House
2 Trafford Court
Doncaster
Yorks
DN1 1PN

Telephone: 0300 123 1033
Fax: 01302 321447

Email: appeals@vts.gsi.gov.uk

Overpayments

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An overpayment happens when we pay Council Tax Support which you weren’t entitled to. If we have paid too much Council Tax Support you will receive a new Council Tax bill which will tell you how much you need to pay.

You need to tell us of any changes in your circumstances, to prevent any overpayments. This is your responsibility – do not rely on anyone else such as the Jobcentre Plus, the Department for Work and Pensions or the Pension Service.

If a change does cause an overpayment we will send you a letter giving you the full details of the overpayment. The letter will tell you why the overpayment happened, the amount you were overpaid and the period of the overpayment. It will also tell you whether we intend to recover the overpayment and what to do if you disagree with the overpayment.

How is the overpayment paid back?

If we have paid you too much Council Tax Support you will be sent a revised bill which will tell you how much you need to pay back. You will be able to pay online, by calling our automated payments line on 01622 602544 and choosing option 5 or by visiting the Maidstone Link.

Second Adult Rebate

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Second Adult Rebate is for single people who have to pay Council Tax and who have other adults (over the age of 18) on a low income living in the house who can't afford to help pay the Council Tax bill.

We only need to know the income and capital for the second adult(s). Please supply the following original evidence:

  • Capital, savings and investments, including all bank and building society current and savings accounts.
  • Earnings
  • Any other income
  • Benefits, allowances or pensions.

You can send your proofs in the post to:

Benefits
Maidstone House
King Street
Maidstone
Kent
ME15 6JQ

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