Changes have been made in the help you get to pay your Council Tax
Council Tax Benefit was abolished from 1 April 2013 and replaced with a Council Tax discount scheme called Council Tax Support (CTS).
A public consultation was carried out from September to November 2020 and a new scheme has been introduced from 1st April 2021.
Members voted in favour of the new scheme at the District Executive Committee on 7th January 2021 and the Full Council Meeting on 21st January 2021.
What are the main differences?
1. Maximum Council Tax Support
The maximum help you can get towards your Council Tax has been increased from 85% to 100%
2. Child Maintenance Payments
This is no longer counted as income
3. Non-dependant deduction increases
There will no longer be any deductions for non-dependents
4. Disability Premiums
There will be a flat rate of £30 unearned income disregard for anyone who would otherwise receive a disability premium
5. Earned Income disregards
Earned income disregards will now be a flat rate of £25 for everyone and will be for any amount of work undertaken, not just those working over 16 hours.
6. Other Changes
- Housing element of Universal Credit is disregarded is income on a pro rata basis.
- ESA support group element is disregarded as income
- Carer’s Allowance is disregarded as income
- Removal of childcare allowance in favour of household based income bands;
7. Income Bands
The amount of Council Tax Support you get will be a percentage of your bill based on the band that your household income falls in rather than a reduction based on a percentage of your earnings. This means that the amount you get is less likely to fluctuate so your instalments are less likely to change.
If you think that you are in the wrong band, you can complete our Council Tax Support form online, which will carry out an instant check based on the information provided by you.
You will be advised of your banding as soon as you have completed the form.
If your banding has changed, this information will be passed to a case officer who will recalculate your charge and a new bill will be issued to you shortly.
You may be asked to provide further evidence to support the changes.
If you are struggling financially, we would strongly recommend that you contact Citizen’s Advice South Somerset who can provide financial advice and advocacy.
You may also be eligible for a Discretionary Hardship Payment to help you in the short term and you can apply for this via our website.