What is Local Council Tax Reduction?

Local Council Tax Reduction (formerly known as Local Council Tax Support) replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013. Council Tax Benefit was a national scheme which helped people on a low income pay their Council Tax.

COVID-19: Additional Local Council Tax Support

Mayor Ros Jones has also approved the award of further relief for people claiming Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) during 2020-21 from the Government’s COVID-19 hardship fund.

In addition to general LCTS which is based on a claimant’s financial circumstances, claimants will get up to £150 extra relief to help with Council Tax payments. This extra relief only applies to working age people and will be awarded to people currently in receipt of LCTS and anyone who makes a new claim for LCTS during 2020-21.

Where a Council Tax payer still has £150 or more to pay after the application of LCTS, they will be awarded an extra £150 relief.

Where a Council Tax payer has less than £150 to pay after the application of LCTS, they will be awarded whatever amount is left meaning they will have no Council Tax to pay for 2020-21.

Where a Council Tax payer gets full LCTS and therefore has no Council Tax to pay, no further relief can be paid based on the Government criteria.

These reliefs will be awarded automatically, there is no need to apply for the additional relief. The Council will write to all Council Tax payers who are awarded the additional relief over the next few weeks and revised Council Tax bills will be sent to them.

The rules about who received Council Tax Benefit and how much they received were set by the Government and local councils ran the scheme on the Government’s behalf.

From 1 April 2013, councils had to design their own local scheme to support working-age people on a low income to pay their Council Tax. This is known as Local Council Tax Reduction. The Government still set the rules for pensioners, however, each local council decides what rules they will have for working-age people.

Our Local Council Tax Reduction scheme helps to support around 24,100 of the poorest households in Doncaster to receive a reduction in their Council Tax.

The Council's Local Council Tax Reduction scheme

Our scheme is mainly the same as the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme. However, because the Council receives less Government grant to run the local scheme, some changes were made to the rules for working age people in 2013 and 2014.

The main differences to the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme are:

  • The rate at which support is withdrawn increased from 20% to 30%. This applies when your income is higher than the amount you should be able to live on, using amounts set by the Government for Housing Benefit. For every £1 over that amount, the maximum Council Tax Support amount will be reduced by 30 pence.
  • All child benefit is included in the assessment of how much income someone has when we work out their Council Tax Reduction.
  • Maintenance received for children or from a former partner is included in the assessment of how much income someone has when we work out their Council Tax Reduction. 
  • Alternative Maximum Council Tax Benefit (Second Adult Rebate) is removed for working age claims.

These changes do not apply to pensioners or anyone receiving maximum Council Tax Reduction because they also receive Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance.

Some changes to our Local Council Tax Reduction scheme were also made from 1 April 2019. The changes made it easier for people on Universal Credit to claim.  No Local changes to the scheme have been made from 1 April 2020, only those prescribed by the Government

A copy of Doncaster's scheme from 1 April 2020 and the Equalities Due Regard Statement is available from the Downloads & Resources area.

Can I qualify for help?

If you have a low income, you may be entitled to some help with your Council Tax. Our Council Tax Reduction scheme can pay all or part of your Council Tax. The amount of help you get generally depends on your income and savings and the income and savings of anyone else who lives in your home.

You may qualify for a reduction if you: 

  • pay Council Tax for your home
  • are on benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit.
  • are working and on low pay including self employed
  • are on Universal Credit (depending on your total income, including wages)
  • do not have more than £16,000 in savings (if you receive Pension Credit Guarantee, you may still be entitled to help) 

How much you will qualify for depends on your circumstances, including how much your income is and who else lives in the property with you.

If you are a Doncaster resident and you claim Universal Credit, if you indicate on your Universal Credit claim that you want to claim Council Tax Reduction, you do not need to make a separate claim to the Council. We will use information the Department for Work and Pensions send us to work out if you are entitled to Council Tax Reduction. We will contact you if we need any further information from you. 

If you have reached state pension age, you can claim Second Adult Rebate to help with your Council Tax. This is based on the circumstances of other adults who live with you.

You can find out how much Council Tax Reduction or Second Adult Rebate you could be entitled to; by using our online calculator.

How to apply

You must apply directly to us. Apply straight away using our online form, you can also claim Housing Benefit at the same time:

If you need help to complete the online application form, call into the Council's Civic Office in Waterdale, Doncaster or any Customer Service Centre or St Leger Homes Area Housing Office. The claim for Local Council Tax Reduction is made online; Doncaster Digital Venues is a list of locations in Doncaster where you can access a computer to claim. 

For more information on claiming Council Tax Reduction, including how to report changes in your circumstances, please visit the Claiming Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Reduction and Useful forms pages. 

If you are unable to complete the online application please print, complete and return the claim below

Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support Application
Download (337KB - PDF)

 

Last updated: 18 August 2020 17:38:38