Council Tax Reduction Scheme

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Council Tax Reduction Scheme

If you are on a low income and have limited savings, you may be entitled to a reduction in your Council Tax or a Second Adult Rebate if people who live with you (other than your partner or a lodger) earn a low wage. If you live in a property in Council Tax bands E, F, G or H and your income does not exceed £321 per week (if you are single and not responsible for a child or young person) or £479 per week in any other case then you may be qualify for CTRS. Please note that the reduction applies only to Council Tax, you cannot get a reduction on any water or sewerage charge you are liable to pay.

If you have not already applied and would like an application form, please contact the appropriate office. We can normally grant a reduction from the date you apply but can only backdate it in special circumstances.  An example of special circumstances would be if you were in hospital and were not able to apply.

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction through Argyll and Bute Council’s Council Tax Reduction and Benefits Enquiry line on 01546 605512. You can also download an application form.

If you receive Council Tax Reduction and/or Housing Benefit. 
The main thing to remember is that both Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit are means tested benefits – this means they are calculated based on the income coming into your home, the number of persons staying in your home and the level of savings held. 
You must inform us of any changes in your circumstances that could affect your entitlement to Council Tax Reduction or Housing Benefit. 
Telling us as soon as you can, will ensure your Council Tax bill is adjusted quickly and you do not have to pay large increased revised amounts towards your council tax bill, and that any overpayment in Housing Benefit is kept to a minimum.
So remember to tell us if;-

  • You move home
  • You or your partner’s income (including benefits) goes up or down
  • You or your partner start or stop work
  • Anyone leaves or joins the household
  • The income or capital of any non-dependant in your household changes
  • You or your partner’s savings go up or down

You may notify us of changes by contacting us by calling the benefit line on 01546 605512 or by visiting your local service point, alternatively you can e-mail benefitsgeneralenquiries@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Appeals

Council Tax Reduction is a reduction on your council tax you may be entitled to if you are on a low income.  If you are dissatisfied with the council tax reduction decision made you can, provided it is done within two months of that decision, seek a review of the decision by writing to us requesting a review.  A review of eligibility for Council Tax Reduction will consider the amount of income a person has with the amount that a person needs to live on (their applicable amount) this will vary depending on the circumstances of the individual and their dependents.  

The request for review must state the reasons why the individual thinks the council tax reduction decision is incorrect.  We must then consider the request and reply with our decision in writing within 2 months.  A request for a review of Council Tax Reduction should be sent to benefitsgeneralenquiries@argyll-bute.gov.uk

Further Review

If after receiving a review decision by ourselves you remain dissatisfied then you can seek an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel who will conduct a further review. 

A further review by the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel can only be requested after the council has carried out an internal review. 

The only exception to this is if you do not receive a written response from us within two months of writing to request a review. If this occurs you or your representative can request in writing an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel.

The Council Tax Reduction Review Panel is an independent body which is an addition to the Scottish Tribunals Service, providing an additional review service to safeguard individual’s rights to administrative justice when assessing an individual’s eligibility for Council Tax Reduction.   They will consider the facts presented to them and give an independent ruling as to whether the decision made by your local authority is correct or not.

An application for further review should be made directly by the individual applicant or their representative in writing to the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel, Europa Building, 450 Argyll Street, Glasgow G2 8LH

Further information, including application forms, are available via the Council Tax Reduction Panel’s website  or by telephoning 0141 302 5980.

When notified by the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel of a further review, the Council will forward  copies of the notification of review to the applicant, responses to that notice, relevant extracts from the applicant’s Council Tax Reduction application, summary of response to review and any other supporting communications to the Panel.  We will also forward a copy of all the documentation we are submitting to the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel to the applicant prior to the hearing.

Further information regarding Council Tax Reduction, how it works, FAQs and Reviews are also available via the Scottish Government website.

Other useful information

  •  If you receive Council Tax Reduction and your circumstances change, the amount of council tax reduction you receive may change. A revised council tax bill will be sent out to you. You will not receive a separate decision notice
  • If you receive Housing Benefit as well as Council Tax Reduction and your circumstances change, you will receive a separate notice about your Housing Benefit but any changes to your Council Tax Reduction will show on the revised council tax bill.
  • If you do not agree with a decision made regarding Council Tax Reduction you can appeal
  • If you also receive Housing Benefit and wish to appeal a decision regarding a claim for Housing Benefit you can appeal to a Tribunal Service that meets for Housing Benefit hearings.  Their decision will not be applied to Council Tax Reduction.