What is Council Tax Support?

It is a support scheme, to help people who are liable to pay Council Tax, meet the cost of their Council Tax bill.

How to claim Council Tax Support

To claim help with your Council Tax, you must complete a Council Tax Support claim form, from our website. If you or your partner are receiving Universal Credit you can also apply for help with your Council Tax. If you have a partner they do not need to complete a separate form. You can also try our on-line benefits calculator to see if you can get any help.

How much support can I claim?

Support can be awarded for up to 78% of your Council Tax bill for working age people and up to 100% of your Council Tax bill for people who have reached pensionable age and certain vulnerable groups less:

  • any discounts you may be awarded
  • any deductions we make for other adults living with you. These people are called non-dependants (see section 8 Non-Dependant Deductions).

For pensioners, if you have savings or capital over £16,000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Support unless you receive Guaranteed Pension Credit. If you and your partner are of working age, not classed as vulnerable and have savings or capital over £6,000 you will not be able claim Council Tax Support. For people who have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit, all capital under £10,000 is ignored.

How will my support be paid?

Any Council Tax Support will be paid directly into your Council Tax account and you will receive a reduced bill.

What information will I have to provide?

You may have to provide original documents of the following:

  • proof of identity for you and your partner
  • proof of National Insurance number for you and your partner
  • full details of all income you and your partner receive
  • name, date of birth and income details of others living in the household
  • details of all savings and investments you and your partner may have

Alternatively, you can upload it from the website.

How is my support worked out?

If you are in receipt of Income Support, income based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance; you will normally get maximum Council Tax Support which is 78% of your Council Tax bill less any deductions for non-dependants.

If you are working or receive any other type of benefit, including Tax Credits or Universal Credit, the amount of Council Tax Support you get will be based on your income and capital, and if you have a partner, their income and capital will also be taken into account.

Your support is worked out by comparing your total net weekly income with your applicable amount. This is the allowance set by the government to take account of your individual or family’s needs.

If your income is less than or the same as your applicable amount you will get the full amount of Council Tax Support which is 78% of your Council Tax bill less any non-dependant deductions. If your income is more than your applicable amount, then your Council Tax Support will be reduced by 20p for each £1.00 that your income is over your applicable amount and by any non-dependant deductions.

What income is used?

We use net income; this is what is left after Tax, National Insurance and half your pension contribution is taken out. Before your Support is worked out we allow you certain disregards from your wages.

  • single claimants £5.00
  • couples £10.00
  • disabled claimants and carers £20.00
  • lone parents £25.00

In addition there is an earnings disregard of £17.10 if working over 30 hours, or over 16 hours for certain people.

We also look at other types of income including most state benefits, Tax Credits, and occupational or private pensions. We also take an income from any savings, investments or capital you or your partner may have.

Certain types of income you need to tell us about, are not taken into account in the calculation of your support, including:

  • Child Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance (care and mobility components)
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • War Widows Pension
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Voluntary payments
  • Child maintenance you receive
  • Permitted work (i.e. earnings allowed by the Jobcentre Plus for people receiving certain sickness benefits.)

If you pay for childcare to a registered childminder, an approved provider such as a local authority holiday scheme or nursery, we may allow you up to £175 per week for one child or £300 per week for two or more children in approved childcare.

Non-Dependant Deductions

A deduction of £12.20 will be made for other people aged 18 or over who live with you.

For people of pensionable age and certain vulnerable groups the levels of non-dependant deductions for Council Tax Support are:

Non-dependants whose earned income is between

£447.40 per week or more £12.20
Between £360.10 and £447.39 per week £10.20
Between £207.70 and £360.09 per week £8.10
Under £207.69 £4.00
Non-Dep on ESA(C)/JSA(C) or any other income £4.00

There is no deduction taken for non-dependants who are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance, Universal Credit without earnings or Pension Credits.

We do not take non-dependant deductions from your support if you or your partner are registered blind, are receiving Attendance Allowance or the care component of Disability Living Allowance, or receiving Personal Independence Payments.

When will my support start from?

Your support will be awarded from the day your liability for Council Tax began; this is usually the date you are billed from. Your claim must be received within that week or within one month if you or your partner is in receipt of, either income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, income-related Employment and Support Allowance or Universal Credit. In other cases support will be awarded from the Monday after you first asked to claim, provided your claim form is received by the Benefit Service within a month of that date. People who have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit may have their claim treated as made earlier, up to a maximum of 3 months.

From 1 April 2019 there is an additional provision to backdate support in exceptional circumstances for a maximum of 3 months

What if I disagree with my entitlement?

If you disagree with how we worked out your Support you should let us know in writing straightaway and we will look at your claim again.

What if my circumstances change?

If there is a change in your income or household circumstances you must notify us straightaway.

You can do this from our website or by letter to the Benefits Service, Wirral Council, PO Box 290, Wallasey CH27 9FQ.

It is an offence to fail to report a change in circumstances, which may lead to the issuing of a sanction. This could include a fine, prison sentence or a police record.

What are Extended Payments?

You can get an Extended Payment if you were unemployed and receiving either Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Severe Disablement Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance continuously for at least 26 weeks and this stopped because either you or your partner started work or have increased your hours of work to more than 16 hours per week.

How long is the Extended Payment period for?

The extended payment period will be for up to four weeks from the day after your Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance has stopped as long as you continue to have a liability to pay Council Tax.

You will get the same amount of Council Tax Support as you did when you were in receipt of Income Support or income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Severe Disablement Allowance, Incapacity Benefit or Employment and Support Allowance for those four weeks.

You do not have to claim for an Extended Payment, we will award it to you if you meet the qualifying conditions.

You may still qualify for some help with your Council Tax when you start work. If you want to continue to receive Council Tax Support while you are working, it is important you tell us about your new circumstances straightaway.

What is Second Adult Rebate?

Second Adult Rebate is a type of Council Tax Support based on the income of other people living with you. It is paid to your Council Tax account and reduces the amount of your bill.

Who can claim Second Adult Rebate?

You can claim Second Adult Rebate if you are a single person, of pensionable age and responsible for paying the Council Tax on the property where you live, and have other adults aged 18 or over living with you who are on a low income. Second Adult Rebate is usually for single people who do not qualify for Council Tax Support because their income or capital is too high.

What if I have a partner living with me?

Most people of pensionable age who have a partner living with them cannot get Second Adult Rebate.

If you are of pensionable age and have a partner living with you, Second Adult Rebate can only be awarded if the following conditions are met:

  • there is at least one other adult resident at the property with you and
  • your partner, the other adult is on a low income and
  • you or your partner, are not counted for Council Tax discount purposes (see list below)

People not counted for Council Tax discount purposes:

  • full-time students
  • student nurses
  • severely mentally impaired people
  • youth training scheme trainees
  • people detained in hospital
  • long-term hospital patients
  • certain apprentices
  • patients in nursing homes
  • members of religious communities
  • certain care workers
  • prisoners

How is it worked out?

Second Adult Rebate is worked out by looking at the total gross income of all the other adults who live with you. We do not need to know any details of your income or capital.

How much can I get?

This depends on the type and amount of income of the other adults in your home.

Second Adult Rebate may reduce your Council Tax bill by the following:

  • 25% - if all of the other adults receive either, Income Support, income-based Jobseekers Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit or any combination of these benefits
  • 15% - if their total gross income (before any deductions) is below£206.00 per week
  • 7.5% - if their total gross income is between £206.01 and £265.99 per week

If their total income is £266.00 or more per week, you will not qualify for Second Adult Rebate.

How can I claim?

The person who is liable to pay the Council Tax on the property must make the claim for Second Adult Rebate.

They must complete a Support claim form and if asked for, provide evidence of the other adult(s) income.

If you only want to claim Second Adult Rebate, you will not have to give details of your income, only those of the other adults in your household. You can make a claim from our website.