Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

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:

  • be on a low income
  • be the person responsible for paying the Council Tax

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.

Applying

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 benefit application form using the Local Council Tax Support Claim Form . Alternatively you can request a form by calling our contact centre on 01789 260991.

What Happens Next?

Once you have made a claim, we will calculate how much reduction is due by looking at:

  • how much money you have coming in
  • any savings you may have
  • your personal circumstances
  • the amount of Council Tax you have to pay

Reporting a Change in Circumstances

Plese remember that you must advise the council of any changes that affect the amount of support that you receive.

You can write in to the council to confirm the change or complete a change in circumstance form.

If you think a Decision is Wrong

If you disagree with a decision, you can:

  • ask for a detailed explanation of the decision
  • ask us to review our decision

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
Hepworth House
2 Trafford Court
Doncaster
DN1 1PN

  • Email: appeals@vts.gsi.gov.uk
  • Telephone: 0300 123 1033

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.

Other Questions

How much Council Tax will I pay?

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.

What is the Second Adult Rebate?

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 Local Council Tax Support Claim 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.

Privacy Notice

What personal data we collect from you and why?

We collect personal information in order to administer and assess your entitlement to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction. In order to do this, we will collect information about your circumstances (e.g. income, number of children, benefits, residency status) your household income - this includes savings and capital, pensions and your partner's income your children who live with you other adults who live with you

We may also collect sensitive personal data known as Special Category Data for example health data.

You and other people who live with you may choose not to provide the information that we request but in that case, we will be unable to determine if you are entitled to Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction.

In order to prevent and detect fraud, where the law allows us, we may collect information about you and other people who reside with you from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Her Majesty's Revenues and Customs (HMRC), other local authorities, other council departments and in some cases your landlord. We may also obtain information from credit reference agencies.

Our lawful basis for collecting and processing this information:-

The personal data will be used to assess your entitlement to Housing Benefit and / or Council Tax Reduction, the legal basis for this processing is a Public Task carried out by us or official authority vested in us. Our lawful basis for collecting Special Category Data is for reasons of substantial public interest.

Legislation that is applicable is the Social Security Administration Act 1992, the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Automated Processing:-

The information we collect from you is usually processed by an individual, however there are occasions when an automated decision may be made, but any changes to your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction will be notified to you. In some circumstances, you have the right to prevent automated processing. For full details of your rights, please see the Council's main privacy notice at Data Protection | Stratford-on-Avon District Council

Who do you share my information with?

We share your information with other council departments, the DWP, HMRC, your landlord where the law allows us to do this or if you have given your permission and other local authorities if relevant. We may also use credit reference agencies for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud where the law allows us to do so. The council also has a legal duty to submit information to the government as part of the National Fraud Initiative | Stratford-on-Avon District Council

This includes: Other departments within the councilOther local authoritiesHer Majesty's Courts and Tribunal ServiceDepartment for Work and PensionsHer Majesty's Revenue and CustomsNational Fraud Initiative

How long will you keep my data?

Records are kept wherever possible in accordance with the Council's retention policy. We will not keep your information for longer than necessary. Your rightsYou are entitled to request a copy of any information about you that we hold. Any such requests should be made in writing. If the information we hold about you is inaccurate you have a right to have this corrected and you have the right to request completion of incomplete data.You have the right to request that we stop, or restrict the processing of your personal data, in certain circumstances. Where possible we will seek to comply with your request, but we may be required to hold or process information to perform our statutory functions.You can find further details on our website www.stratford-dc.gov.uk under privacy notices.If you have any worries or questions about how your personal information is handled please contact our Data Protection Officer at data.protection@stratford-dc.gov.uk

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane

Wilmslow

Cheshire

SK9 5AF

Tel: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.

Alternatively, visit ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk.

Fraud

If you suspect anyone of fraud please call 01789 260486 or email fraud@stratford-dc.gov.uk.

Responsibility for the investigation of Housing Benefit fraud has been transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions.

Exceptional Hardship

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.

You can apply online or alternatively you can print off a paper application.

Further Information

For further information, please contact Revenues:

  • Email: benefits.sdc@stratford-dc.gov.uk
  • Telephone: 01789 260991
  • Fax: 01789 260969
Last updated on 30/11/2018

Contact the Revenues & Benefits team