Changes to Council Tax Support for people who receive Universal Credit
Following an eight week public consultation in 2019, the council has decided to change its Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme for people who get Universal Credit (UC).
The changes apply to claimants receiving UC and CTS prior to 1 April 2020 and to those receiving UC who will make a new application for CTS from 1 April 2020.
The following are the changes to the CTS scheme from 1 April 2020:
Banded Income Scheme for people who get Universal Credit
- If the claimant, partner and/or dependant child receives a qualifying disability benefit*, they will receive 86% of their Council Tax paid for (after any discounts) by CTS (less any non-dependant deductions if applicable)
- If the claimant or partner gets maximum UC (usually if they don’t work, have any other income or benefits), they will get receive 70% of their council tax paid for (after any discounts) by CTS (less any non-dependant deductions if applicable)
- If points 1 or 2 do not apply, the scheme only looks at claimant and partner’s net earned income from employment and self-employment and places them in a claimant category based on household make-up.
- The level of CTS awarded is dependent on the band into which the claimant falls.
Two rates of non-dependant deductions
A non-dependant is an adult who lives in the claimant’s household but is not their partner A deduction is taken from your CTS entitlement for each non-dependant with some exceptions. No deduction is applied if you or your partner receives Disability Living Allowance Care Component or the Daily Living element of Personal Independence Payment.
Students remain exempt from non-dependant deductions
- If the council has received proof that a non-dependant is not working, in receipt of an out of work benefit or work and earns less than £144 per week (before tax and National Insurance), it will deduct £3.30 per week from any CTS payable.
- If the council has not received proof of a non-dependant’s income or has proof that they are working and earning more than £144 (before tax and National Insurance), it will deduct £13.10 per week from any CTS payable.
Guide to the Banded Income Scheme
You can download a guide to the scheme rules.
Universal Credit Relief
From 1 April 2020 until 31 March 2023, claimants in receipt of CTS who start to receive UC will be awarded a reduction in their Council Tax for a period of two weeks from when their initial entitlement to UC starts.
The amount of the reduction will be 2 weeks net Council Tax (after CTS entitlement, single person discounts and other discounts are taken into account).
Universal Credit Relief will only be granted once to any recipient of CTS and will not be awarded again if their UC claim stops and starts again in the future. The amount will not be adjusted once it has been paid even if entitlement to CTS increases or decreases or Council Tax liability changes. The amount will appear on your council tax bill as ‘Write off – UC Relief’.
Treating a Universal Credit notification as a claim for Council Tax Support
From 1 April 2020 the council will use a UC notification sent to the council by Department for Work and Pensions as a claim for CTS.
This means most working age people won’t have to make a separate claim for CTS. This makes it easier to claim, so more people will get the help they are entitled to. If the council does not receive a notification that UC entitlement has started, it will not automatically begin a claim. You are still able to make a claim online if you receive Universal Credit.