Portsmouth city council

Council Tax Support is a scheme to help some people pay their Council Tax. Support is means-tested and only available to people resident in the UK.

From 1 April 2017 changes are being made to Council Tax Support. This decision follows public consultation on the future of the scheme.

If you currently receive Council Tax Support (CTS) you should have received a letter explaining the changes. Unfortunately, we can't calculate how much Council Tax Support you'll get until later in March once the council's budget has been decided. The changes are:

  • all working age customers will have to pay at least 20% of their council tax, as CTS support will be limited to a maximum 80% of the council tax bill
  • the council tax band used to calculate CTS will be capped at Band C - this means someone who lives in a property that is council tax Band D or above will have their CTS calculated as if they lived at Band C property. 86.6% of properties in Portsmouth are Band C or below
  • the minimum council tax support award will be £2 per week - if someone's CTS is calculated below this amount, it will be withdrawn altogether and they will need to pay their full council tax liability
  • a capital limit of £6,000 will be introduced - this means people who have more than £6,000 in savings or capital will not receive CTS

The current protection that applies to working age people on disability benefits or Employment Support Allowance will end, meaning these customers will no longer be able to have 100% of their Council Tax liability covered by CTS.

To help with the transition, a CTS hardship fund is available and you'll be able to apply from 1 April using the application form in the documents section below.

The fund is only for people who meet the criteria for CTS - it doesn't apply if you no longer receive help due to having more than £6,000 in savings or capital, or have had the minimum £2 subsidy withdrawn. However if you are experiencing difficulties please get in touch to discuss payment. 

Details of revised CTS and the amount of Council Tax to be paid will be sent by letter in March.

Please make sure your CTS award is correct and let us know if there are any changes  to your circumstances, otherwise you could face a penalty. 

The sooner you tell us that you intend to apply for Council Tax Support, the faster we can start your claim. Contact us via e-mail at hbsupportteam@portsmouthcc.gov.uk or phone us on 023 9283 4556.

Delays in making your claim can result in a loss of Council Tax Support.

To claim Council Tax Support, you will need to complete and sign an application form and provide supporting evidence.

If you wish to claim housing benefit and Council Tax Support / second adult rebate you can do so on the same application form, available from our offices or to download and print below.

The amount of help you will receive depends on how much money you have coming in, your personal circumstances, your savings and the amount of Council Tax you have to pay. If you have a partner, your combined income and savings will be looked at to see what help you and your partner can receive.

If you are working age, Council Tax Support will be based on up to 80% of your full Council Tax charge, not including any excess income and non-dependant deduction. This means you will have to pay at least 20% of your Council Tax charge.

If you are classed as a pensioner, Council Tax Support will be based on a maximum of your full Council Tax charge, not including any excess income and non-dependant deduction.

If awarded, Council Tax Support is paid directly to your Council Tax account.

While you receive Council Tax Support you are responsible for immediately informing us, in writing, of any changes to your circumstances that might affect the amount of Council Tax Support you are awarded, such as:

  • You, or anyone living with you, starts or leaves a job
  • Your income, or the income of anyone living with you changes (including wages, benefits, pensions and tax credits)
  • Any of your children leave full time education
  • You change address, or anyone moves in or moves out of your home (including a new baby, children, other family or friends, lodgers)
  • You or anyone living with you, is no longer entitled  to income support, jobseekers allowance, pension credit, employment and support allowance or universal credit
  • You or your partner's savings or investments change
  • You or anyone living with you, becomes a student, goes on a youth training scheme, goes into hospital, a nursing home or prison
  • You or your partner are going to be away from home for more than a month
  • You receive any decision from the Home Office about your immigration status
  • Any changes to the level of child care costs you pay
  • Any other change in circumstance that might affect your right to the amount of Council Tax Support you receive

Any excess Council Tax Support will be debited from your Council Tax account.

You may be able to claim second adult rebate if you have to pay Council Tax and you live with someone else, other than your partner or dependant child. The other person must be 18 or over, not responsible for paying Council Tax, not paying rent, and have a weekly income below £252.50 - they cannot be 'disregarded' when we work out whether you can get a Council Tax discount.

To claim second adult rebate, you have to give information about the income of the adult, or adults, living with you. Your own income and capital are not taken into account for second adult rebate. While you receive second adult rebate you must tell us immediately, in writing, if a partner or spouse moves in with you, or if the adult (or adults) you are claiming for changes income or moves out.

Further information can be found in the Council Tax Support scheme summary document below.

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