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Council Tax Support

From April 2013, the Government replaced the national scheme of Council Tax Benefit with new localised schemes for reducing the amount of Council Tax charged to people on low incomes. In most area these schemes are called Council Tax Support (although some councils call it Council Tax Reduction or Rebate).

In England, every council that bills for council tax has made its own Support scheme. As these schemes are made at the local level it can mean that residents of different English council areas can have very different entitlements to support.

In Wales and Scotland national schemes were set by the Welsh Assembly and Scottish Parliament that are very similar to the old Council Tax Benefit so residents there will not have seen much change to their entitlements. Northern Ireland is not currently affected by these changes.

These changes do not significantly affect pensioners. If you or your partner are of pension age you are protected from any changes to the local scheme which would mean you are worse off than you would have been under the Council Tax Benefit scheme.  For more information see what counts as pension age.

Different types of scheme in England

Most councils in England have made schemes which are very similar to Council Tax Benefit. In most ways your entitlement to Council Tax Support will seem very similar to the way you would have received Council Tax Benefit. Some councils have kept the amount of Support you can receive under the local scheme very similar to the old scheme. If you live in one of these areas, you are unlikely to see much change in how much Council Tax you have to pay.

However, as the Government has given councils less money for their new schemes than they gave out under Council Tax Benefit, many councils have decided to change the amount of support that they award. Many residents will receive less Support, and have to pay more Council Tax, than they previously did.

If you put in your post code or enter your local council area,  our benefits calculator will apply the correct amount of support to your entitlements based on the local scheme. However, some councils have more complicated schemes and you may have to contact them directly to find out how much you are entitled to.

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As changes arrive we will continue to make that information available to our  and to let people understand how the changes impact their personal finances, by building them into our calculators. 

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These are the largest changes that the benefits system has seen for decades.

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