Local Council Tax Support - Scheme

Frequently Asked Questions for this Service

Question: Under the Council Tax Support Scheme will I be worse off if I return to work?

Answer: Local Council Tax support is means tested and the amount you receive will depend on your income, savings and household. Council Tax Support has a number of work incentives built into the scheme to try to ensure that entering work pays.



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Question: Is Second Adult Rebate the same as single person discount?

Answer: No.
A single person discount applies to a council tax payer if there is only one occupant in the home, they will be eligible for a discount.

Second Adult Rebate is only available to pensionable age customers and is awarded when the claimant has a second adult in his or her home who is on a low income. You will need to apply for Second Adult Rebate by clicking the link below for an assessment to be made.
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Question: I have been overpaid benefit, how can I repay this?

Answer:
Overpayments of Local Council Tax Support are transferred onto your Council Tax account and will then be included in your future instalments.

You can make payment using a debit card by visiting the council's 'Do it online' web page or by phoning the payment line on 0845 045 0076.



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Question: Can I appeal against the amount of Local Council Tax Support I have been given?

Answer: If you think the decision is wrong, please visit the related link to find details on how to dispute and appeal against the Local Council Tax Support decision.



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Question: How do I claim Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: If you are exempt from Universal Credit you can apply for Housing Benefit to help with the payment of your Rent. You will need to make a claim for Local Council Tax Support regardless of whether you receive Universal Credit.

You can make a claim for Housing Benefit or Local Council Tax Support through our Customer Portal from the link below.

- Related Link

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Question: What do I do if I have completed my application for Local Council Tax Support but do not have all the evidence I have been asked to supply?

Answer: If you cannot send the evidence we need straightaway, please ensure that you submit the online application form immediately and let us know you will be sending some evidence later. If you do not submit the form straightaway, you might lose money. We can start to process your claim, but we will not be able to pay you any benefit until we have all the evidence.

Ideally we would encourage claimants to provide any supporting evidence within 24 - 48 hours of submitting their claim to avoid any delays in assessing their benefit award and making payment. Where this is not possible you will need to contact the Benefit Service to advise them and to seek further advice.

Please see link below for a list of documents you may be required to supply to support your claim. - Related Link

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Question: Am I entitled to Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: Universal Credit is a new type of financial support provided by the Department for Work and Pensions, for people of working age who are looking for work or on a low income. Most people will no longer need to claim Housing Benefit because they can claim Universal Credit. Before you make your claim for Universal Credit, please check if any of the exceptions mean that you should still claim Housing Benefit from the link below. If you are exempt from Universal Credit you can apply for Housing Benefit to help with the payment of your Rent. You will need to make a claim for Local Council Tax Support regardless of whether you receive Universal Credit. The amount of benefit/support you may be entitled to is calculated by looking at how much money you have coming in, your personal circumstances, how much rent and/or Council Tax you have to pay, and the amount of savings you have. For Housing Benefit if you have more than £16,000 in savings we cannot usually pay you any benefit. For Local Council Tax Support if you have more than £6,000 in savings we cannot usually pay you any benefit.

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Question: How can I pay my council tax?

Answer: There are a number of ways in which you can pay your council tax.

• Direct Debit is the easiest method of payment; you can set or amend a Direct Debit on your account via the Citizens Access Portal. There is now an option to pay over 12 months instead of 10 (dependent on when in the financial year the request is received). To request this you can complete an on-line form via iwight.com, or complete a notification on the Citizens Portal.
• You can take your bill to any Paypoint outlet or Post Office, where the barcode on the bill can be scanned and the necessary payment made.
• You can also pay on line at iwight.com, or via the 24 hour telephone automated payment system on 0345 0450076. The payment line is open seven days a week
Please Note : There is no additional charge for using the 0845 number. Only your (landline or mobile) network service provider charges may apply - Related Link

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Question: What evidence do I need to provide with my application for Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: If you complete your application on-line you will be provided with a checklist at the end of the application process informing you of any evidence that is required. If you download and complete a manual application form a checklist is included at the end of the application form. In general we may need to see evidence of identity, evidence of capital, savings and investments for both you and your partner if you have one. - Related Link

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Question: Why have I been overpaid benefit and what is the amount owing?

Answer: An overpayment is an amount of benefit which has been paid to you but to which there is no entitlement under the relevant rules. Overpayment of benefit can occur both in Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support.

Overpayments can occur due to many different factors. A typical reason is when your income increases for a past period which then reduces the level of Benefit awarded.

It is important that change in circumstances are reported as soon as possible and no longer than one calendar month to avoid any unnecessary overpayment occurring.

An overpayment of Local Council Tax Support will be transferred to your council tax account and you will receive a revised bill. - Related Link

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Question: When will my new claim or change in circumstance be processed?

Answer: On receipt of all the required information and evidence being provided to the office to support your claim, a benefit decision will be made as quickly as possible.

The quicker information is provided by the claimant, the sooner the benefit can be considered.

If you are receiving or waiting to hear about Universal Credit it may take up to six weeks to process your claim.

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Question: I have over £6,000 in savings will I be entitled to Local Council Tax Support?

Answer: If you are working age and you or your partner has over £6,000 in savings you will not be entitled to Local Council Tax Support.

If you are of pension age and have over £16,000 in savings you will not be entitled to Local Council Tax Support unless your receive Pension Credit Guarantee Credit.

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Question: Why does it take six weeks to process my Local Council Tax Support claim if I am on Universal Credit?

Answer: The local authority requires your award for Universal Credit for your income to process Local Council tax Support.

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Question: I have Local Council Tax Support pending, do I have to pay my Council Tax bill?

Answer: Yes, you will need to continue to pay your Council Tax bill as there is no guarantee that benefit will be awarded. If you have concerns over your ability to pay, it is important that you discuss with the council tax department as soon as possible. - Related Link

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Question: I am self-employed, how will the changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme affect me?

Answer: If you are self-employed a minimum income floor has been introduced to align Council Tax support and Universal Credit. The minimum income floor is in line with the UK minimum living wage of 35 hours per week totalling £305.20 per week. This would not apply for a start-up period of one year from the date of the start of the business. Therefore if you are self-employed and continue to run a business where your income is below the minimum living wage level the council will assume you earn £305.20 per week regardless of the amount of hours you usually work.

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Question: I have received a postcard, what is this about?

Answer: The Council has sent postcards to all its current customers to advise them that there may be changes which could affect their entitlement to Local Council Tax Support in the future, and to encourage them to have their say by taking part in the survey.

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Question: Who is protected from changes and why?

Answer: Claimants of pensionable age are protected under the Government’s default scheme. The changes to LCTS for 2021 will affect working age claimants only.

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Question: What is a disability benefit?

Answer: Disability Benefits include: Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance, support component of Employment and Support Allowance.

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Question: What is a passported benefit?

Answer: Passported Benefits include: Job Seekers Allowance (income based), Employment and Support Allowance (income related) and Income Support. If you receive one of these passported benefits, it means that you will automatically receive the maximum level of support: Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income related).

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Question: What changes is the Council proposing to make to the scheme in 2021/22?

Answer: The Council is proposing six different options to change the current LCTS scheme. Details of the proposals can be found in the consultation document - Related Link

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Question: How might I be affected by the changes being proposed to the scheme in 2021/22?

Answer: The proposed options may affect customers differently depending on their circumstances. Details on how you might be affected can be found in the consultation document - Related Link

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Question: How can I take part in the consultation?

Answer: The link to the consultation document and survey can be found on our website. If you require a paper survey, please contact the Benefits office on 01983 823950 who will issue one by post. If you require assistance with the survey, please contact the Benefits office on the above number - Related Link

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Question: When will a decision on the Local Council Tax Support scheme consultation for 2021/22 be made?

Answer: The results of the consultation along with a full report will be provided to Full Council for a decision in January 2021. Following this, any approved changes will be applicable from 1 April 2021.

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Question: When is the consultation running?

Answer: The consultation will be available from 1 August 2020 to 30 September 2020 for residents to complete.

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Question: Where can I get assistance with completing an on-line benefit application?

Answer: Initially we would ask you to seek assistance from a relative, friend, neighbour, landlord or support worker if you have one. Assistance may also be provided by some welfare agencies by prior appointment.

Where this is not possible please contact the Benefit team on 01983 823950 who will provide further assistance. - Related Link

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Question: Why have I been charged a penalty of £70?

Answer: Penalties of up to £70 may be imposed by the authority where changes are notified outside of the 21 day period to notify the authority of a change in circumstances.

You can report a change in circumstances through our Customer Portal, by emailing housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or by writing to the Revenues and Benefits Services, PO Box 238, Newport, PO30 9FP.



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Question: I have had a change in my circumstances, what do I do?

Answer: If you are currently receiving Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Support and the circumstances for yourself or anyone else living with you change, you must tell the councils Benefit Office immediately as it may affect the amount of benefit you are entitled to.

You can report a change in your circumstance through our Customer Porter, or by emailing housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or by writing to the Revenues and Benefits Services, PO BOX 238, Newport, PO30 9FP.

You must tell them within one month of the change and you must provide proof of the change.

You may be required to complete a change in circumstance application form which can be found on our website following the link below.
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Question: I am moving address soon, what do I do?

Answer: You will need to inform the Benefits Service as soon as possible. You can contact the service to inform them of your new address by emailing housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk however you will also need to complete the change of address form via the Customer Portal from the below web link. You will also be required to supply proof of your tenancy agreement for your new address if you wish to claim further Housing Benefit and or Local Council Tax Support.

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Question: If someone moves in with me and they are over 18 years of age, will this affect my claim?

Answer: In most cases yes this will have an effect on your claim. Depending on who this is and the relationship to the claimant, it could increase the number of bedrooms required for your needs, your personal allowances or a non-dependant deduction may be applied to your Housing Benefit and or your Local Council Tax Support.

The Benefits office will require the full name of the person moving in, their date of birth, income, and their relationship to you. These details will need to be advised immediately in writing to ensure the correct level of benefit is awarded and to avoid any overpayment of benefit that will need to be repaid.

You can report a change in your circumstances through our Customer Portal, by emailing housing.benefit@iow.gov.uk or by writing to the Revenues and Benefits Service, PO Box 238, Newport, PO30 9FP
Please see below link for further information - Related Link

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Question: Who is excluded from claiming Universal Credit?

Answer: You cannot make a new claim to Housing Benefit unless you meet one of the following conditions –

• If you are a resident in supported exempt accommodation or you have been placed in temporary accommodation by the Isle of Wight Council's Homelessness team you must inform Universal
Credit of this and make a claim for Housing Benefit with Isle of Wight Council.
• If you have reached State Pension Credit age.
• You are part of a couple where one of you has reached State Pension Credit age .
• You are receiving Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance with no Universal Credit top up.
• You are receiving Contribution-related Employment and Support Allowance with no Universal Credit top up.
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Question: What is the Local Council tax Support Scheme?

Answer: The Local Council Tax support scheme compares the income of a claimant to a level of need for them and any family. However, the starting point for the calculation of any help is normally based on 65 per cent of the liability for those of working age and 100 per cent if of pensionable age. Anyone on a low income including those on DWP benefits can apply to see if they qualify. For those with a liability of Band D or above the starting point for the calculation will be based on 65 per cent of the liability for a Band C property in that area.

Those of working age with over £6,000 in savings will not normally be entitled unless they are on Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance (Income based), Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)

Those of pensionable age with over £16,000 in savings are not normally entitled unless they are on Pension Credit guarantee credit.
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