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Council Tax Support

What is it?

Council Tax Support (or Reduction) is a local discount on your Council Tax bill.

In April 2013 the national Council Tax Benefit scheme was abolished and instead every council in England has a local scheme for reducing the Council Tax paid by people on low incomes. Most councils have called these new schemes Council Tax Support, although some councils call it Council Tax Reduction.

In 2013/14 these changes will only affect England. Residents of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will not have a change to their support schemes, as the devolved governments have decided not to make any changes this year. There is also no change in support for pensioners. For more information see what counts as pension age .

How much will I get?

The amount of help you get depends on which part of the country you live in. As each scheme is set locally people with very similar circumstances may have different entitlements depending on where they live. If you go through the calculator we will work out your entitlement to Council Tax Support according to the rules where you live.

In England, many councils have reduced the amount of support available for working age people. In many councils even if you have never had to pay Council Tax before you may have to pay some under the new rules.

In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland the amount of Council Tax Support (or help with Domestic Rates) has not changed in 2013/14 and you can still receive help up to the amount of your full Council Tax or Rates charge. Pensioners can also still receive help up to the amount of their full Council Tax or Rates charge.

How do I claim?

You will need to contact your local council to make an application.

It is important to return your application form quickly. You will usually only be entitled from the date your form is received.

It is a good idea to keep a photocopy of everything in your application, in case it gets lost. If you send the form by post, ask for written confirmation that it has been received.

Your council may ask you to send various documents along with your application. If you cannot find everything required, send in your claim form as soon as possible and post on additional documents. But to ensure you get benefit quickly it is in your interest to supply everything needed.