Council Tax Benefit

Who is it for?
People who have to pay Council Tax.

Who pays it?
The local authority (administered by Borough or District Councils in County authorities)

Which leaflet? And how is it claimed?
Local authorities have their own leaflets and application form provided on request. People on income support can use leaflet HCTB1, supplied with IS claim. Pensioners can apply for CTB whilst applying for pension credit over the phone.

What are the age limits?
18 or over (no council tax liability if under 18)

National Insurance based?

Means tested?
Yes, £16,000 savings cut-off, with tariff income starting at £10,000. No capital limit for pensioners getting guarantee credit part of pension credit. For those aged 60+, tariff income will be £1 per £500 in savings over £10000. For under-60’s income is £1/£250 over £6,000.

How long does it last?
Until circumstances change. LA no longer reviews periodically.

What is effect on other benefits?

Is it taxable?

Increases for dependants?
Yes. Calculations take family size into account, same as Housing Benefit.

Payable if in EU or other?
Linked to liability for Council Tax – check with LA. Can be paid during temporary absences.

Points to watch
Council Tax can also be reduced by exemptions, reductions and disability discounts, which are not means-tested.  Child care costs can be offset against income within CTB. CTB is frequently not claimed by elderley homeowners (take-up rate is only around 50% for that group). CTB can now only be backdated for a mazimum of 13 weeks for pensioners and 26 weeks for other claimants.

You can view details of benefit amounts on the Community Care Inform website

The A-Z of Benefits 2009 was compiled by Gary Vaux and Community Care Inform


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