Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme
In January 2019 Sandwell Council agreed to introduce an income-banded Council Tax Reduction Scheme for working age people for 2019/20 to replace the complex means test. Instead, our new scheme considers whether working age people should pay in the region of 0% to 100% of their Council Tax depending on their income and household make up.
We are unable to change the way in which we award Council Tax Reduction to pension-aged people, as the rules are set by central Government.
Our consultation results confirmed overall agreement with the changes we proposed to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
Key features of the 2019/20 Council Tax Reduction Scheme
This is an income-banded scheme which will assess the maximum level of Council Tax Reduction based on the net income of the applicant and their partner if they have one, accounting for any children.
Anyone who receives the following benefits does not pay Council Tax (subject to any non-dependant charge or restrictions to Council Tax band C).
• Income Support
• Income-Based Jobseeker’s Allowance or,
• Income-Related Employment Support Allowance (ESA)
Under this scheme, as part of our on-going commitment to support most vulnerable people, we will continue to disregard Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance and the Support Component of ESA from the income used in the assessment of Council Tax Reduction; we will also continue to disregard Child Benefit and War Pensions in this scheme.
To support incentives to work, the first £25 you earn will not be taken into account as income.
The Council Tax Reduction scheme will continue to support those working over 16 hours who pay child care costs. Up to £175.00 will be disregarded from your earnings for one child or up to £300 for two or more children.
Deductions are taken from your Council Tax Reduction for any non dependants in your property. These are detailed on our non dependant page.
If you are of working age the capital limit is £3,000 and no Council Tax Reduction will be payable unless you are in receipt of Income Support , Income Based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Related Employment Support Allowance
Working-age households will receive a discount, depending on their level of income. This means we will look at your net income after disregarding the above mentioned benefits and decide what band your income falls into. You will be awarded a percentage level of Council Tax Reduction in line with the table below. We will allow extra income in each band for couples and those with children.
The income bands effective from 1 April 2020 are set out as shown in the table below:
|Single person||Single person with one child||Single person with 2 or more children||Couple||Couple with one child||Couple with two or more children|
|Income from||Discount||Income from||Discount||Income from||Discount||Income from||Discount||Income from||Discount||Income from||Discount|
Universal Credit - Where the Universal Credit payment is worked out based on wages, we still take these wages into account after deducting the relevant earnings disregard. We will then add them to the Universal Credit payment to work out what band to use to calculate the Council Tax Reduction.
Deductions taken from Universal Credit by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) will not be removed.
The housing cost element of Universal Credit will be ignored.
Joint Tenants - Applications from joint tenants will be assessed on their share of the Council Tax liability.
Backdating - is limited to six months and assessed on whether there is good cause to do this.
Payment of Council Tax Reduction will still only be made if it is £1 or more per week.
You can claim Council Tax Reduction online.