Council Tax Support Scheme 1 April 2017 - 31 March 2018 Click to get info
For the financial year 2016/2017, anyone under the eligible pension age who is liable to pay Council Tax will have to pay at least 24 per cent of their Council Tax bill.
If you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax, you could qualify for help to reduce your Council Tax bill with the Discretionary Council Tax Hardship Scheme.
For more information on the Waltham Forest Council Tax Support scheme please refer to the following documents.
Who can get Council Tax Support? Click to get info
You will usually get some of your Council Tax paid (unless there other adults living with you) if you receive:
- income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, or
- Employment Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Guaranteed Pension Credit
You can also get some Council Tax Support if you’re on a low income. The amount you get will depend on:
- your income
- the amount of council tax you have to pay
- the amount of money you and your family need to live on
- whether other adults share your home
The maximum help that working-age people can receive is to get 76 per cent of their bill paid, which means that you have to pay at least 24 per cent yourself.
Working age people can't normally get Council Tax Support if they have savings of £6,000 or more, and this savings limit increases to £16,000 for pensioners.
Council Tax Support for self-employed people Click to get info
This section explains how we calculate your income if:
- you’re self-employed
- you’ve been trading for more than 12 months
We use this when:
- you’re making a new claim for Council Tax Support
- we carry our annual reviews of your self-employed earnings
How we calculate your income
We assume that your total income is the same as the National Minimum Wage. We will multiply this hourly rate by 36, to get the weekly rate.
We’ll work out how much income tax and National Insurance would be deducted from these earnings, and then we use this ‘net amount’ to calculate your income for Council Tax Support.
This change doesn’t’ affect self employed pensioners or how your Housing Benefit is worked out.
For more information please see page 44 of Detailed provisions for working age people (1.3Mb PDF)
Current National Minimum Wage rates
National Minimum Wage (hourly)
Weekly rate (x 36 hours)
25 and over
21 to 24
18 to 20
We won’t assume that you earn the National Minimum wage if any of the following apply.
If you get any of these benefits:
- middle or higher rate of either component of Disability Living Allowance
- the daily living component, or the enhanced rate of the mobility component, of a Personal Independence Payment
- Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment for a child who is a member of your household
- Carers’ Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
If you have an illness or incapacity that means any of the following apply:
- You, or a member of your household, have cancer or a similar condition
- your doctor has certified that you are incapacitated and can’t work for up to six months
If you’re being rehoused:
- if you’ve been rehoused in temporary accommodation by a Housing Authority, we won’t assume the National Minimum Wage for 12 months
- if you’ve moved, been rehoused, or are occupying two homes because of domestic violence, we won’t assume the National Minimum Wage for up to 12 months
If you’ve had a temporary reduction in income:
- if you’ve been self-employed for two years and your income has significantly reduced because of circumstances beyond your control, then we’ll consider not assuming the National Minimum wage for you, for up to 12 months. To do this, we must be sure this reduction is temporary and you’re taking steps to increase your earnings
How to dispute a decision
Please see the section on this page called ‘If you disagree with our decision’, if:
- any of these exemptions apply and you want to tell us about them
- you don’t agree with the decision we’ve given you
If you’re suffering severe financial hardship, you can apply for a discretionary reduction of Council Tax.
Calculate your Council Tax Support Click to get info
Use our benefits calculator to get an estimate of how much Council Tax Support or Second Adult Reduction you could get. You can use the information you entered in the calculator to start your claim form if you want to apply.
Apply for Council Tax Support Click to get info
You can claim Council Tax Support if you’re responsible for paying the Council Tax on your home.
If you don’t have access to a computer at home, you can use a PC for free at one of our LibraryPlus libraries.
- Make an online claim for Council Tax Support using our self-service PCs
- Report a change in your circumstances if you are already claiming benefit
- Drop off evidence and information to support your benefit claim
You can only drop off evidence at the libraries Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm regardless of the particular library's opening hours.
Home visit from the benefits team
If you are housebound and don’t have any family or friends who can help you, call us on 020 8496 3000. Request a visit and briefly explain why you need one.
Providing evidence to support your claim
Once you’ve sent your claim form you may be asked to provide evidence to support your claim.
Benefits Connect self service Click to get info
There are a number of self service tasks that tenants, owner-occupiers and landlords can do online with our Benefits Connect self service. It offers you fast access to your details, including support claims, payments and how we calculate benefits.
Report a change in your circumstances Click to get info
You need to tell us about a move or change in your circumstances, so you can make sure you're paying the right amount of council tax and getting the right benefit. Visit our tell us about changes in your circumstances page to learn more.
Non-dependant deductions Click to get info
If you have other people over the age of 18 living with you it may affect the amount of council tax support you get as they are expected to pay towards housing costs.
The person may be a:
- a child that you no longer get child benefit for.
They are called ‘non-dependants’.
We take set amounts off the support amount you get depending on their income.
Even if your non-dependant doesn’t give you anything, or you don’t want to take anything, according to the local authority’s council tax support scheme, we still have to take the set amounts off the weekly support amount you get.
Non-dependant deductions from April 2017
Getting income support, state pension credits or income based JSA / ESA
Aged 18+ not in remunerative work or total income is less than £194.99
Aged 18+ and in remunerative work, and:
We do not make a deduction for any non-dependant if you or your partner is:
- registered blind
- getting attendance / constant attendance allowance
- getting the care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
- getting the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP)
- getting armed forces independence payment
In addition some persons are ignored for council tax purposes if they:
- are under 18
- are aged 18-20 and you get child benefit for them
- are on a work based training for young people and getting a training allowance
- are a full time student or student nurse
- have been in hospital for more than 52 weeks
- have a severe mental impairment
- are in legal custody
- usually live elsewhere
Please visit our about council tax page for more information on the council tax disregards and discounts available.
Changes in circumstances
You need to tell us if the non-dependant’s circumstances change and complete an on-line change in circumstances form.
If the other adult has moved, please ensure that you tell us their new address.
Second Adult Reduction Click to get info
You can claim a Second Adult Reduction of up to 25 per cent if you share your home with one or more adults who are:
- over 18 and not paying you rent
- not your spouse or partner
- not responsible for paying the Council Tax
- receive certain benefits, such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, or are on a low income
Your own income and savings aren’t taken into account.
Discretionary reduction of Council Tax Click to get info
Overpaid Council Tax Support Click to get info
If you’re paid too much Council Tax Support, we’ll write and tell you. The letter will explain:
- why we gave you too much support
- the amount of overpayment
- if you have to pay back that amount
- how you can appeal this decision
If the amount of Council Tax you have to pay changes we will send you an updated bill showing your new payments.
If you disagree with our decision Click to get info
If you disagree with a decision about your Council Tax Support, you can:
- ask for an explanation of how we calculated your benefit
- ask us to look at the decision again
You can challenge the council's decision concerning:
- your entitlement to a Council Tax Reduction under the scheme, or
- the amount of the reduction which you are entitled
Your request should include the reason and grounds for the challenge and the period it relates to. Any additional evidence to support the challenge should also be provided.
Challenges must be made to the council as soon as possible after notification of the decision.
Once a challenge is received the council will consider the request and provide a written outcome within two months.
Appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Click to get info
If you're still dissatisfied with our decision you may, within two months, appeal to the Valuation Tribunal:
Valuation Tribunal Service
2 Trafford Court
Please note: The Valuation Tribunal cannot hear appeals about the content of the scheme, only about the way that the scheme has been applied to your individual case.