A Guide to Council Tax Support


What is Council Tax Support?

Council tax support gives help towards paying your council tax bill. You should make a claim for Council Tax Support if you have to pay Council Tax on a home that you live in and you are on a low income.

(If you live in a Tai Tarian property or privately-rented property and you apply for Housing Benefit, we will assess your Council Tax Support using the same application form).

How is Council Tax Support paid?

Council tax support is paid directly to your council tax account and will be shown on your council tax bill. The bill will also show you how much you have to pay and the amount of your instalments.

How do I claim Council Tax Support?

If you think you are entitled to council tax reduction, please complete the application form. To request a form please call us on

  • 01639 686838

Forms should be returned immediately to one of the following offices:

  • The Benefits Section
    Neath Port Talbot CBC
    Civic Centre
    Neath
    SA11 3QZ
     
  • The Benefits Section
    Neath Port Talbot CBC
    Civic Centre
    Port Talbot

If you require help in completing an application form you can call into any of the above offices and an officer will help you make your claim.

Alternatively if you are unable to visit us you should telephone the benefit section on 01639 686838 and we will arrange for a visiting officer to call to give assistance.

What proof will I need to provide with the application form?

You must provide supporting information and evidence with your claim. These must be original documents.

Normally we will require

  • 2 pieces of evidence proving your identity
  • 1 piece of evidence confirming your National Insurance number (and partner’s if applicable)
  • Proof of all income
  • Proof of all capital
  • Proof of the income of any non dependants living with you.

The application form gives you details of what type of evidence is acceptable.

You should not delay in making your claim. If any of the supporting evidence is not available then it can be sent in later. However this must be received within one calendar month of the date the claim is made.

If you do not provide the information needed to process your claim this will result in a delay in the award of support.

What savings / capital do I need to tell you about?

You must tell us about ALL your savings and capital. Examples include-

  • The balance of money in a bank and building society (even if your account is overdrawn)
  • Land or property you own other than the home you live in
  • Stocks and shares
  • Premium bonds
  • National savings certificates
  • ISA account
  • Post Office accounts

This is not a complete list, only examples of what you must tell us about.

How will my savings / capital affect my support?

If you have capital we will disregard the first £6,000 if you are working age and the first £10,000 if you are Pensionable age. If you have capital of more than £16,000 you will not normally be eligible for benefit unless you are in receipt of guarantee credit with the pension service. However as some types of capital can be disregarded and there are exceptions to the capital rule please contact the benefits section for further advice.

When will my council tax support start?

The general rule is that benefit is paid from the Monday after your application form is received.

The important point to remember is you must claim as soon as possible because Council Tax Support is not automatically backdated. If you fail to apply within the time limits allowed, you will need to ask us, in writing, to backdate your benefit, giving the reasons why you did not apply at the appropriate time. If you have a good reason, we will backdate your support. We will look at each case individually.

What if my circumstances change?

Once you have made a claim for council tax support you have a duty to report changes in your circumstances in writing, to the Housing Benefit Section. Even if you tell the Department of Works and Pensions (formerly the DSS), you must still tell the Housing Benefit section.

The following are examples of changes you must report-

  • If you stop or start to receive income support / job seekers allowance
  • If you stop or start work
  • If you have a change in the household
  • If you leave the property
  • If your capital increases / decreases
  • If you have a change in income
  • If a non dependant has a change in income (a non dependant is a person other than your partner aged 18 or over who lives with you, for example a grown up son or daughter)

This is not a complete list and many other changers in circumstances can affect your support entitlement. If you are not sure if a change affects the amount of support tell the benefit section anyway and we will determine if there is a change in entitlement.

Although notifications of changes in circumstances must be made in writing, the Benefits Section will accept a telephone call in the first instance as a way of receiving the information.

What do I do if I think the Council’s decision about my council tax support is wrong?

If you disagree with the Benefits Section decision you can:

  • Ask for an explanation
  • Ask us to look at the decision again
  • Appeal to an independent Tribunal Service

You must:

  • Tell the benefits section, in writing which decision you disagree with
  • Give the reasons why you disagree with the decision
  • Sign the letter
  • The letter must reach the Benefits Section within one calendar month of the date of the decision letter you are disagreeing with.