Summary of council tax support scheme 2022-23

The council tax support scheme from 1 April 2022 for working age people will continue to be based on income bands.

The scheme applies to working age people only who currently receive council tax support or apply in the future for help to have their council tax discounted. The new scheme will apply without exception from 1 April 2022.

It's important to note that changes to the council tax support scheme will not affect pensioners. Pensioners are protected and their council tax support will continue to be awarded as set out by central government.

Depending on which band your income falls into, the percentage of council tax support awarded will be 100 per cent, 80 per cent, 60 per cent, 40 per cent or 20 per cent of the maximum eligible council tax.

There are different bands for single claimants, lone parents, couples and for people with children set out in the table below.

Weekly income bands with maximum percentage of council tax support

Income band

Single person

Couple

Lone parent with children

Couple with children

Maximum percentage entitlement

Band 1

£0 to £98

£0 to £140

£0 to £175

£0 to £230

100 per cent

Band 2

£98.01 to £125

£140.01 to £175

£175.01 to £200

£230.01 to £280

80 per cent

Band 3

£125.01 to £150

£175.01 to £230

£200.01 to £250

£280.01 to £330

60 per cent

Band 4

£150.01 to 175

£230.01 to 280

£250.01 to 305

£330.01 to £380

40 per cent

Band 5

£175.01 to £200

£280.01 to £330

£305.01 to £355

£380.01 to £435

20 per cent

We may need to apply a further small increase to these income band figures in line with inflation, but this will only be necessary if the government increases further the rates of social security benefits and Universal Credit.  

If you receive Income Support, Job Seeker’s Allowance (income based) or Employment and Support Allowance (income related) you will fall into band 1 and will be entitled to up to 100 per cent council tax support.

Some income does not count towards the total when we calculate your income - for example certain benefits - and is 'disregarded'.  You'll find information on income disregards below. If the income calculated falls into one of the income bands above, you will receive council tax support. If your net income is more than the maximum income in band 5 then you will not receive council tax support.

Under the current council tax support scheme, if you have an income change of more than 5p a week your entitlement to support will change by just 1p per week. With the new scheme, if the income change doesn't move you into a new income band, then no recalculation of the council tax support will take place.

For example, if a single person reports that their weekly income has increased from £112 to £123 per week, they will remain in band 2 and they will continue to receive an 80 per cent discount.

Qualifying for council tax support

You must have a council tax liability to be able to claim council tax support and you must be living in the property. Council tax support is a council tax discount and if awarded it will reduce your council tax payments. The level of discount awarded is based on the income and capital of you and your partner, whether you have dependent children or other adults living in the household (called non dependents). Other factors will also be taken into account, such as certain expenses to assist with childcare payments, disabilities and whether you fall into a group that needs more support.

Eligible council tax

The eligible council tax used in the calculation of council tax support will be the net amount payable. This is the amount of council tax after any discounts already awarded, for a home that is occupied.

The only exception to this is if the tax payer lives in a property that has an F, G or H banding. For people claiming council tax support, the maximum eligible council tax amount will be restricted to band E and so the maximum council tax support they can receive is 100 per cent of the band E charge.

Capital limit

If you are a single person or a couple claiming council tax support and your combined capital is over £6,000 you will not be entitled to council tax support and the full amount of council tax will be payable. There are no exceptions to this rule. An assumed income from savings will not be applied to capital less than £6,000.

Non-dependent deductions

A non-dependent is a person living in the council tax support claimant’s home but they are not stated as a liable person on the council tax bill. They are normally a grown up child or an elderly relative living with the claimant. Deductions will normally be made from the eligible council tax for each non dependent living in the household. The deductions are based on the non-dependent’s gross income and whether they are working. The deductions and earnings bands are increased from 1 April each year.

A non-dependent deduction will not be made if the claimant or their partner receives one of the following incomes:

  • Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance
  • The daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
  • The care component of Disability Living Allowance
  • An armed forces independence payment

A non-dependent deduction will not be made if the claimant or partner is severely sight impaired, blind or has recently regained sight. 

Earned income disregards

A maximum weekly disregard of £10 will apply to the combined earnings of you and your partner. If both you and your partner are working, the earnings disregard will be £10 in total and will not be awarded per person.

Income disregards – child benefit

Child benefit for all children will be disregarded in full and will not be used in the income calculation. 

Income disregards – maintenance in respect of a child

Maintenance payments received in respect of children will be disregarded in full and will not be used in the income calculation, subject to qualifying conditions.

Income disregards - housing element (Universal Credit)

The housing costs element of a person’s Universal Credit (UC) award will be disregarded in full.

Examples relating to the disregard of the Univeral Credit housing element.

Income disregards – other income

Under this scheme, as part of our ongoing commitment to support disabled people, the following incomes will continue to be disregarded and will not be used as income in the calculation of council tax support:

  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Limited Work Capability element of Universal Credit
  • War Disablement Pension
  • War Widow’s Pension
  • Christmas bonus paid by DWP
  • Employment and Support Allowance – work related and support (non UC recipients only)

Other disregards - childcare

To support incentives to work for those working over 16 hours, a weekly childcare disregard will be applied to earnings of up to a maximum of £175, where child care is paid for one child, or up to a maximum of £300 where childcare is paid for more than one child, subject to further qualifying conditions.   

Other disregards - disabled children

An additional income disregard of £100 per week will be applied to household income for each child who:

  • is severely sight impaired, blind or has recently regained their sight, or
  • receives Personal Independence Payment or Disability Living Allowance  

Absences abroad for up to four weeks

Council tax support will be paid during a temporary absence abroad providing that the period of the absence does not exceed four weeks. If the planned period of absence is greater than four weeks the claim for council tax support will end from the date of departure and you will have to claim again following your return to your home address.      

Backdating claims

A claim for council tax support can be backdated for a maximum period of six months from the date of the claim if you can demonstrate a good reason for not having claimed sooner.  You must provide a written request for backdated council tax support and provide full reasons for the delay in claiming.   

Discretionary Hardship Relief Scheme

The scheme may result in some claimants being worse off which may lead to hardship. It's important that we protect the most vulnerable households. If you are facing difficulties as a result of changes to the scheme, you can apply for a payment under the council's Discretionary Hardship Relief scheme. Applications will be considered in line with our policy. The discretionary scheme is part of the local council tax support scheme, and is designed to give additional financial support to those tax payers who are facing either exceptional hardship or extraordinary circumstances.

Examples relating to the disregard of the housing element within Universal Credit

The housing costs element of a person’s Universal Credit award will be disregarded in full up to the level of the net UC award.

Example 1

Example of a housing element disregard

Universal Credit maximum amount

Universal Credit incomes

Standard allowance: £409.89

Net UC Award: £729.89

Carer element

Tariff Income

Limited work capability

Household Earnings

Child element

Applicable Income

Childcare element

Other adjustments

Housing element: £320.00

 

Therefore the person’s income to be taken into account for the purpose of the banded scheme is worked out as £729.89 minus £320.00 (housing element) which comes to £409.89 per calendar month or £94.59 per week.

Example 2

Where the UC award is subject to a managed payment direct to a landlord and this is included as an "other adjustment", the net UC award will be aggregated with the managed payment as follows:

Example of a housing element disregard with a managed payment to a landlord

Universal Credit maximum amount

Universal Credit incomes

Standard allowance: £409.89

Net UC award: £409.89

Carer element

Tariff income

Limited work capability

Household earnings

Child element

Applicable income

Childcare element

Other adjustments: £320.00

Housing element: £320.00

 

Therefore the person’s income to be taken into account for the purpose of the banded scheme is worked out using £409.89 plus £320.00 which comes to £729.89. Then take off £320.00 (housing element) which comes to £409.89 per calendar month or £94.59 per week.

Example 3

Sometimes the value of the net UC award and the managed payment will be less than the housing element. In these instances the housing element will be disregarded up to the value of the net UC award and the managed payment.   

Example of a housing element disregard when the net UC award and the managed payment are less than the housing element

Universal Credit maximum amount

Universal Credit incomes

Standard allowance: £409.89

Net UC award: £181.19

Carer element

Tariff income

Limited work capability

Household earnings: £724.81

Child element

Applicable income

Childcare element

Other adjustments

Housing element: £320.00

 

Therefore the person’s income to be taken into account for the purpose of the banded scheme is worked out using £181.19 minus £320.00 (housing element) which comes to £NIL plus £724.81 wages per calendar month or £167.26 per week (less the standard earnings disregard).

Example 4

Example relating to the disregard of the housing element and limited work capability element within Universal Credit

Universal Credit Maximum Amount

Universal Credit Incomes

Standard Allowance: £409.89

Net UC Award : £1071.81

Carer Element

Tariff Income

Limited work capability: £341.92

Household Earnings

Child Element

Applicable Income

Childcare Element

Other adjustments

Housing Element: £320

 

Therefore the person’s income to be taken into account for the purpose of the banded scheme is worked out using £409.89 plus £341.92 plus £320.00 which comes to £1071.81. Then take off the £341.92 (Limited Work Capability element) and £320.00 (Housing Element) which comes to £409.89 pcm or £94.59 per week.

These are the exceptions and all other elements of Universal Credit will be taken fully into account as income.