Anyone over 18 and liable to pay Council Tax can make a claim for Council Tax Support.
Council Tax Support will be paid from the Monday after we receive the application. A claim could be backdated for up to three months if you are pension age and one month if you are working age. If you are working age you must have a good reason for not applying at the time.
Apply for Council Tax Support
Universal Credit does not replace Local Council Tax Support. You would still need to contact us to make an application for help towards your Council Tax.
How we work out your Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support is deducted from your Council Tax bill.
To work out Council Tax Support in Gateshead your income and capital is compared to a standard weekly amount (applicable amount). That amount is made up of elements which take into account whether you are single, part of a couple, disabled and so on.
If your income is below your applicable amount you will get maximum help with your Council Tax.
Support is reduced if your income is above your applicable amount, depending on how much above your applicable amount your income is. We will ask you for the information or evidence we need to work out your reduction.
Pensioners could receive up to 100% of the Council Tax due after discounts. Those of working age, could receive up to 91.5% Council Tax Support after discounts. This means that someone who is working age and has a monthly bill of £100 will have to pay at least £8.50 a month.
If you are self employed, we will base your earnings on your income less expenses. If you are of working age and your earnings are below the National Minimum Wage, the figure applied is the number of hours stated worked multiplied by the hourly National Minimum Wage rate.
If you are of working age and your earnings are below the National Minimum Wage, the figure applied is:
The number of hours stated worked x the hourly National Minimum Wage rate.
Principles of the scheme
Gateshead’s scheme has eight principles:
1. Protection will be given to certain groups:
- If you are a pensioner you could receive up to 100% of the bill, depending on your circumstances. You are protected from any increase in the amount you pay because of the introduction of the scheme.
2. The scheme should encourage people to work:
- Part of your earnings are ignored. For those of working age £10 of a single person's earnings and £15 of a couple's earnings are ignored.
- For those of pension age, £5 of a single person's earnings and £10 of a couple's earnings ignored.
- For a lone parent, £25 of any earnings are ignored.
3. Everyone in the household should contribute:
- The amount of support may be reduced when another adult lives in the house who is not the claimant’s partner.
- The amount of reduction will depend on the gross income of the other adult.
- If you are working age a reduction is not made unless the Council Tax payer is the person who qualifies for help.
4. Benefit should not be paid to those with relatively large capital or savings:
- Capital below £6,000 will not count for working age people and below £10,000 for those of pension age.
- If you have capital over £16,000 you will only get help under the scheme if you get Guarantee Pension Credit.
- The level of support will alter if you have capital between £6,000/£10,000 and £16,000.
5. War pensions are ignored when working out the level of support
6. There will be a minimum level of support. If you were to get less than £1 a week, your bill will not be reduced. This only applies to people of working age.
7. Child Benefit is not counted
8. There is the ability to award a discretionary reduction if the council considers someone needs extra support in exceptional circumstances.
The council is required to review the scheme annually and has decided to make no changes to the scheme from 1 April 2018. The final scheme for the year commencing 1 April 2018 was determined by the council in November 2017 and is published below.
Anyone who received Council Tax Support under the 2017/18 scheme will automatically have their entitlement to a reduction under the 2018/19 scheme calculated.
Let us know of any changes to your circumstances.