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Changes to Council Tax Benefit

Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2013/14

At the Council meeting on the 23 January North Norfolk District Council approved the Local Council Tax Support Scheme which will replace Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013.

Government legislation abolished Council Tax Benefit (CTB) from the 1 April 2013 and placed a requirement on all local authorities to develop their own local Council Tax Support Scheme (CTSS).

The Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTS) has been introduced to help people of working age, on low incomes, to pay their council tax.

Who will these changes affect?

All working age people who currently claim CTB will be affected by these changes and will see their council tax support change.

People who have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit are protected and will be able to claim help at the same level as they would have done under the present Council Tax Benefit scheme.

The Government has prescribed in law how the scheme for pensioners will operate. North Norfolk District Council will operate the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for pensioners in accordance with the law.

Who will be able to get the new local Council Tax Support?

Anyone liable to pay Council Tax can apply for support under the new scheme and it will be worked out in a similar way to CTB. The rules which applied under the council tax benefit calculations will apply for the councils administration and calculation of CTS –including but not limited to the eligible person, the time and manner of the claim, the calculation and determination of income, calculation and determination of capital, non dependant deductions, benefit periods, the value and calculation of tapers and premiums, the calculation and recovery of overpayments and other matters under the calculation and administration of council tax benefit.

People currently getting CTB will have their eligibility for the new scheme assessed without having to reapply to the council at the beginning of the new scheme unless their circumstances have changed. The council tax bill, which will be sent to you in March, will show how much CTS you are entitled to and how much council tax you will be required to pay.

How much will I have to pay?

Everyone of working age will have to pay something towards their council tax from April 2013. NNDC has agreed a scheme whereby the maximum amount of CTS which may be awarded to people of working age is 91.5% of their council tax liability.

People who are currently receiving 100% CTB will have to pay 8.5% of their council tax.

Pensioners who qualify for CTB are protected and will not have to pay more than they do now.

It is very important that should your circumstances change at any time that you notify the Benefits section immediately to ensure that we can calculate your entitlement to CTS correctly.