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Council Tax Support Changes - A WAB Guide

Monday March 18 2013




THE government has changed the way support is given to people needing help to pay their council tax. Here's a detailed WAB Guide on how it'll affect you.

What's changing?

From April 1 the national council tax benefit scheme - which provides assistance to applicants on low income to reduce their council tax bills - is being replaced by new council tax support scheme which each council will decide locally.

The funding the government is providing for council tax support is now much less than it gave for council tax benefit and therefore the level of support the council can give to applicants under the new scheme has also had to be reduced.

Barnsley’s scheme in 2013/14 will be very similar to council tax benefit but some households will receive less council tax support because of the reduction in funding.

If you're a pensioner in receipt of council tax benefit you will not be affected by the change in the schemes and your entitlement will be protected under national rules (unless you're still receiving a working age benefit).

However, if you're of working age and in receipt of council tax benefit, you will be affected by the reduction in funding.

What will it mean to you?

Bills will be issued in March 2013 telling you exactly how much support you have been granted and what you will have to pay.

If you're a pensioner your council tax support will roughly be the same as it was under the council tax benefit scheme providing your circumstances remain the same.

Working age applicants who previously had nothing to pay are likely to receive maximum 85% support and will have to pay 15% of the council tax bill on your property in 2013/14.

Based on estimates - which do not account for discounts or parish charges - the annual charge you will have to pay for a Band A property would come to around £140, Band B around £163, Band C around £187 and Band D around £210.

If you're of working age and received some (but not full) benefit your council tax is likely to increase by 15% on what you paid in 2012/13.

What happens now?

The council will issue your 2013/14 council tax bill in March with an installment plan for payment to be made over 10 or 12 months from April.

You will also be sent a separate notification showing how your council tax support has been calculated.

You must ensure that payments are made in accordance with your installments to avoid proceedings being taken against you to recover arrears.

If you think any information held about you is incorrect or your circumstances have changed please contact the housing benefit and council tax support helpline on 01226 774743, after receiving your bill.

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Reply Posted by sharon on Monday March 18 2013 at 15:52
all very well but needs to be same payment structure that people get there benefits or lots of consumers will soon get into debt

Reply Posted by donna on Monday March 18 2013 at 18:06
Looks like the government is well on its way to make many people homeless. I think it's disgusting. We work and dont need the support but I worry if the time comes that were not we will like most people come April will have to choose pay my bills or eat. I mean how can people look for work if they cant afford the bus fare to an interview or even a stamp to post an application. :(

Reply Posted by donna on Monday March 18 2013 at 18:10
And to add to this the people that are having to choose bills or food, cant even get the impartial advice from services like CAB, any more. Who they gonna turn to? Chances are a none impartial person well advertised who profit from there struggles.

Reply Posted by stevo on Monday March 18 2013 at 19:52
As mentioned in a previous post CAB are far from "impartial" are in "cahoots" with all the government agencies so dont be fooled your are getting "impartial" advice because you arent.
I have first hand experience of the CAB!

Reply Posted by Aunt Hilder on Thursday March 21 2013 at 20:14
As I have said before on this site, the council isn't impartial but you will not find a better advice service than the council's welfare rights service.

Reply Posted by Jayne on Friday March 22 2013 at 12:56
Me and my husband both work and have always payed council tax. I am really torn over this one. I agree with Donna, what is going to happen if me or my husband loose our jobs? I have worked and payed in but will get no help. On the other hand you have people on benefits living nice comfortable lives, much better than mine while I pay out and have nothing. I agree the government are idiots and I never voted for the plonkers in the first place. They do right getting people off benefits and making work pay but they are going the wrong way about it.

Reply Posted by Vicky on Friday March 22 2013 at 13:25
I think it's disgusting I am now a single mum not by choice and I still go to work always have done since leaving school I have to put my 2 yrs old son in private nursery which costs me just under £300 a month and that just for 3 half days a week luckily I have some family support for the rest to be told I will now have to try and find another 2-3 hundred pound cause of the lack of comptinance of this government has lead us into so not only does gas, electric,water,tv licence and cost of food go up this as well but I don't get any rise in my income and haven't done for 5 yrs now what the hell do the government want us to do dig our own holes and bury ourselves to save them money cause that's the way it feels

Reply Posted by Dave on Saturday March 23 2013 at 15:16
The following statement contained in your article "If you're of working age and received some (but not full) benefit your council tax is likely to increase by 15% on what you paid in 2012/13" is inaccurate. I viewed my 2013/14 bill online and the increase was well above 15% (in fact in my case the increase was nearer 90%). I telephoned the council who confirmed my bill was correct and the statement on their website was "inaccurate and misleading" and would be removed. After further investigation the council further confirmed my bill for 2013/14 was inaccurate as the calculations they had used were wrong. My bill has now been re-adjusted and the overall increase is approximately 30% on what I paid last year.

Reply Posted by ian on Saturday March 23 2013 at 15:32
I have been looking into this for my mother, i am and always have been in full time employment for the last 20 years and never claimed a penny and hopefully will continue to dos so.my mother who is on the sick and can hardly walk lives in the same 3 bedroom house we lived in as a child. 3/4 years ago she asked for a transfer as she can not even get upstairs and has constantly chased the council over this but got nowhere. now this law comes in and instantly she will be kicked out because she can not pay for the 2 bedrooms and the council tax top up out of her money and EAT as well. if i pay the difference they will want to no were she got the money from and kick her out anyway ???????????????????????????? a no win situation !!!!!

Reply Posted by Sharon on Saturday March 23 2013 at 15:41
I'm a lone parent on benefits; I've worked in the past and paid in by no means do I live a nice, comfortable life. I don't go out socialising, I live with the constant fear that what support I do get will just stop. I'm 40 with no up to date qualifications, no 'recent, checkable' employment history, no references, can't drive and can't learn to drive due to my eyesight. Nevermind how much it'd cost. The first thing I did when my youngest started full time school was go to my local cafe and ask for work but I can't start at 7.30am. Even though my kids school has started a breakfast club which opens at 7.30 because it's a 40 minute walk away. I have no family support but they all work anyway. I can't even do any courses because they clash with school runs or they run on an evening and where I live I either have to walk or catch 2 buses to get anywhere. I've even thought about giving my kids up for adoption because I've felt so desperate. My oldest's child's dad is dead, she's 8 and my youngest dad, I don't even know where he is but he doesn't work and I haven't even had the measly £5 a week I'm supposed to get off him since last November. Whenever I need anything for the house I try to get it locally so the benefits I get goes back into local pockets. I also have a lot of personal issues which complicates things even further. I wouldn't even be allowed to help with the childcare of people in my community due to changes in the law. It's ridiculous. I do volunteer where and when I can though.

Reply Posted by karen on Saturday March 23 2013 at 15:45
Mmmmm, so they give me less money then charge me more...That's about right...
( Am disabled )

Reply Posted by Cathy on Saturday March 23 2013 at 16:33
Your situation Sharon sounds bad at the moment and I do wish you well for the future. Try to stay strong , things will change when your children get a bit older and hopefully you will have a chance to improve your situation. Good Luck.

Reply Posted by paul on Sunday March 24 2013 at 22:48
What happened to great Britain ? It's just Britain to us that were born here so that means all the robbing Europeans tht come here thinks it's great.

I'm a single dad with 2 children I work part time while there both t school and it's one thing after another with country. I managed to get a job after 2 years been unemployed yes it may be only part time and a low paid job but gets us by but the bedroom tax is gonna sting me and if I took in a lodger I'd have to pay full every thing so can't win that battle then slap more utter crap on top. May be just maybe the people that make these decisions should think what there doing it's ok for them they will have a flash car a nice fat wage luxury holidays etc it's not on any more the day will come where us british people take over these fiddling bastards and show them how they broke a nation poor or not. How long till the UK stand up against them ? We see it every year and it gets worse and worse. End of rant good night.

Reply Posted by stevo on Sunday March 24 2013 at 23:52
Whilst I feel for you and your predicament,people in this country will never "rise up" because they are far too fickle.