The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS) is a means-tested benefit; households that have a low income may pay reduced or, in some cases, no Council Tax through this scheme.
Since April 2013, local authorities have had the duty of determining their own LCTRS. This followed the Government's decision to abolish the national Council Tax benefit arrangements.
In previous years, Stratford-on-Avon District Council decided that the local scheme would be based fundamentally upon the arrangements that were already in place, so for local residents there was little or no change.
However, the council needs to review this every year, and the decision has been taken that the scheme will change for 2018/19.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council will again be given a fixed budget by the Government for providing Council Tax reduction. The fixed budget is less than what is paid out now. The council is committed to reviewing these arrangements in the longer term and this may result in changes to the scheme in future years.
To qualify for LCTRS, you must:
You will not normally qualify for benefit if you have savings or investments of more than £16,000.
Use the Benefits Calculator to see what help you can get.
If you are not sure if you qualify, make a claim. You can get an application form from our headquarters or you can print the form. Alternatively you can request a form by calling our contact centre on 01789 260991.
Once you have made a claim, we will calculate how much reduction is due by looking at:
Plese remember that you must advise the council of any changes that affect the amount of support that you receive.
If you disagree with a decision, you can:
You must apply for an explanation within one month of the date of the award letter and should include which part of the decision you would like clarifying. A request for reconsideration can be made at any time and should include the decision you disagree with, the reason why you think it is wrong, and any supporting evidence or information you think might be helpful.
If you are not happy with the response you receive from us or do not receive a reply within two months, you can contact the Valuation Tribunal directly:
Valuation Tribunal CTR Team
2 Trafford Court
Please remember that, before you can submit a formal appeal to the Valuation Tribunal, you must have asked us to review the decision.
If you would like further information regarding this process, please contact the council on 01789 260991.
If you have applied for and are entitled to Local Council Tax Reduction from the beginning of April, the amount of reduction will be shown on your Council Tax bill: this is the total award for the whole year. This may change if your circumstances change during the year. The reduction can only be backdated for special reasons.
Second Adult Rebate is a different kind of financial assistance for single people who have to pay Council Tax because they are not eligible for the Single Person's Discount, as they have other adults on a low income living in the household.
You can apply for Second Adult Rebate by completing specific sections of the Housing and Council Tax benefit application form. You can also get an application form from our headquarters or request a form by calling our contact centre on 01789 260991.
It can be claimed by anyone who does not have a partner, but only if they do not qualify for the Council Tax Single Person's Discount because they share their home with another person who is aged 18 or older, is on a low income, and does not pay them rent.
Stratford-on-Avon District Council will use your personal data, which may include special data about you, to assess and administer your Housing Benefit and/or Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme claim under the Housing Benefit Regulations and the council's Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
We may share your information with other council departments etc. We do this in the performance of the tasks that we carry out in the public interest, in the exercise of our official authority and because it is in the substantial public interest.
Your personal data will be held in accordance with our Retention and Destruction Policy, which is available on our website.
For further information, or to access your information rights, please see our Data Protection policy, contact our Data Protection Officer by post at our Elizabeth House address, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01789 267575.
If you suspect anyone of fraud please call 01789 260486 or email email@example.com.
Responsibility for the investigation of Housing Benefit fraud has been transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions.
In instances where you are experiencing exceptional financial hardship with paying your Council Tax, you can apply for Exceptional Hardship. Please note that this is a very limited budget, so the council may not always be able to make an award, and if an award is made it is unlikely that the award will meet all of the shortfall in your liability so you will still have to make a payment towards your Council Tax.
For further information, please contact Revenues: