Council Tax Support
What is Council Tax Support?
If you need financial help to pay your council tax bill, you may be able to get council tax support.
You may also get Second Adult Rebate if you share your home with another adult (not your partner or civil partner) who is unable to pay towards the council tax, but only if you are considered to be of pension age.
You may get council tax support if you pay council tax and your income is low either through low wages or through any benefit awards; and your capital (savings and investments) are £16,000 or below.
Boston Borough Council's Council Tax Support Scheme
- Benefits should not be paid to those with capital above set limits
If you have more than £16,000 you will not be entitled to receive any council tax support, irrespective of the amount of income you have.
- Benefits can be paid based on the income of a second adult with a low income,
By second adult, we mean somebody who lives with you and is over 18, is not your partner and does not pay you rent. If the second adult is on a low income we can award council tax support based on their income regardless of the level of your own income. From 1st April 2016 this has been restricted to those of Pension Age and those in receipt of a War Pension.
- Those with relatively more income should pay more than those with less income
Council tax support looks at the amount of income you have and determines the amount of help you need with your bill. Those with higher incomes will be asked to pay a greater proportion of their bill than those with lower incomes.
The principles of the scheme
- Most people (of working age) should pay something towards their council tax
If you claim council tax support (unless you are protected) you will have an entitlement of 75%. This means you will be required to pay a contribution towards your weekly council tax of at least 25% and are likely to see the amount of council tax support you get go down.
- Pensioners are protected from any reduction in support
If you claim council tax support and are a pensioner, you are eligible to up to 100% help towards your weekly council tax charge. This means it is unlikely you will be asked to make any more of a contribution towards your weekly council tax than you do at the moment and are likely to see no change in the amount of council tax support you receive.
- War pensioners (that are working age) are protected from any reduction in support
If you claim council tax support and are in receipt of a war disability or a war widow's pension, you are eligible to up to 100% help towards your weekly council tax charge. This means you will not be asked to make any more of a contribution towards your weekly council tax than you do at the moment and are likely to see no change in the amount of council tax support you receive.
- The scheme should make work pay
This is achieved by letting those of you claiming council tax support that are working keep more of your earnings before the means test is applied. This means we will take a lower level of earnings into account when calculating council tax support entitlement. If you are in work and have the same amount of income as someone out of work, you will receive more help towards paying your council tax as you will keep more of the money you have earned from working before your entitlement is reduced.
- The scheme is available to all those who pay council tax regardless of the size of property that they live in
We think the amount of council tax support you get should be based on your income and ability to pay, not on the size of the property you live in. Up until 31st March 2016 no matter what band your property fell in the Council Tax Support would be calculated against the full liability for that Band. From 1st April 2016, those claiming Council Tax Support that are of working age will have their band award restricted to that of a maximum of a band D.
The council tax support scheme is based on rules set locally.