Changes to Council Tax benefit - Blaby District Council

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Council Tax Support

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Council Tax Support – previously Council Tax Benefit

Summary

Council Tax Benefit ended on 31st March 2013 and was replaced with a new local scheme called Council Tax Support. Every council has its own scheme. Blaby’s scheme may not be the same as the scheme for other councils.

Council Tax Support can help towards the cost of your Council Tax charge if you are on a low income or in receipt of other benefits (such as Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit) . You can claim if you are working as well.

Further information

Councils now receive less money from the Government to pay for their new schemes.

When we designed our local scheme for 2013 -14 we had to make some difficult decisions about who we could help and how much Council Tax Support they could receive.

We consulted with existing working age benefit recipients, landlords, some pension age claimants and a range of community and welfare groups between 2nd August and 23rd November 2012.

We have also had to consult  in order to make changes to the local scheme for 2014-2015.

This page provides some answers to some frequently asked questions about our local Council Tax Support scheme. This will help you to understand what is changing and how this may affect you.

What is Blaby District Council’s local Council Tax Support scheme?

We have based our local scheme on the old Council Tax Benefit scheme with some changes to help meet the reduction in funding from the Government. The local scheme includes the following changes for working age people:

Blaby’ Local Scheme for 2013-2014

  • Everyone of working age will have to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill
  • Residents with income that is higher than the amount that the Government says they need to live will have a higher deduction made. Presently they lose 20p for every £1 over the living allowance, this will increase to 25p.
  • The Second Adult Rebate scheme will end (this scheme gives a reduction of up to 25% to anyone who is single but sharing their home with someone on a low income).

Blaby’ Local Scheme for 2014-2015

This is based on the scheme for 2013-2014 except for the following change:

  • Everyone  of  working age will have to pay at least 15% of their Council Tax bill

Will pensioners be affected by these changes?

No, these changes only affect working age people. The Government has set out rules to ensure that pensioners are protected and will not have their entitlement reduced under the new scheme.

How will Council Tax support be paid?

The amount you are entitled to will be used to reduce your Council Tax liability and you will receive a Council Tax bill showing this reduced amount and how much you will have to pay.

How much Council Tax will I have to pay under the Council Tax support scheme?

In Blaby District from April 2013 all working age people had to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax (even if they have not had anything to pay previously). From April 2014 all working age people will have to pay at least 15% of their Council Tax.

If you wish to claim Council Tax support you can download the form here:

Benefit claim form

 Is there any extra help for people who are experiencing severe financial hardship and are vulnerable?

For the first years of this new scheme the council has set up a separate discretionary discount scheme to support local people experiencing severe financial hardship who need extra help to pay their Council Tax.

How are discretionary payments made?

Any Discretionary Payment awarded for council tax will be discounted from your Council Tax bill.

How to apply for a discretionary payment

If you think that you need this extra help, you need to complete a Discretionary Payment application form and send it to the address below giving us as much information as possible to help us understand why your circumstances are special.

Once we have received your form we will contact you to let you know if we require any further information. We may also arrange an interview with you to discuss your request in more detail and to establish more about your circumstances and to see whether we can offer any other help and advice and guidance.

After your application for a discretionary payment

If we decide that we can make a payment, we will write to tell you how much you will be paid and for how long. If we decide that we can't make a payment, we will write and tell you the reasons for our decision.  If you do not agree with our decision you can write to us and ask us to look at the decision again.

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Contact

Benefits Team  
Blaby District Council  
Council Offices  
Desford Road  
Narborough  
Leicester  
LE19 2EP

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E-Mail:
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Telephone:
0116 272 7510
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Fax:
0116 272 7591
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Minicom:
0116 284 9786
Last updated: 11 February 2014

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