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Council Tax Reduction - can you get an 'extended reduction'

This advice applies to Wales

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called Council Tax Reduction (CTR).

If you have been getting Council Tax Reduction (CTR) and your circumstances change you must tell the local authority about the change.

In some circumstances you may be entitled to continue receiving the same rate of CTR for an extra period. This is called an 'extended reduction'.

This page tells you when you can get an extended reduction

If you have been getting Council Tax Reduction (CTR) and your circumstances change, you may be entitled to continue receiving the same rate of CTR for an extra period. This is called an 'extended reduction'. You must tell the local authority about the change of circumstances.

Extended reductions can be made if you or your partner:

  • stop receiving a qualifying contributory benefit, and satisfy the extra conditions below, or
  • stop receiving a qualifying income-related benefit and satisfy the extra conditions below, or
  • have claimed Pension Credit.

Qualifying contributory benefits

Qualifying contributory benefits are:

  • severe disablement allowance
  • incapacity benefit
  • contributory Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Qualifying income-related benefits are:

  • income support
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).

Extra conditions

If you receive a qualifying contributory benefit, the extra conditions are:

  • you or your partner have stopped getting the qualifying contributory benefit because you started work or self-employment, increased hours of work or your earnings have increased, and
  • the new employment, or increase in earnings or hours, is expected to last at least five weeks, and
  • you or your partner have been continuously in receipt of one or more of the qualifying contributory benefits, for a period of at least 26 weeks immediately before the qualifying contributory benefit ceased, and
  • you or your partner must not be in receipt of a qualifying income-related benefit in the last week in which the qualifying contributory benefit was payable.

If you received a qualifying income-related benefit, the extra conditions are:

  • you or your partner have stopped getting the qualifying income-related benefit because you started work, or self-employment, or your hours of work or earnings increased, and
  • the new employment, or increase in hours or earnings, is expected to last at least five weeks, and
  • you or your partner have been continuously in receipt of one or more of the qualifying income-related benefits, for a period of at least 26 weeks immediately before the qualifying income-related benefit stopped.

A period of less than five weeks, during which you or your partner were not entitled to any of these benefits because you were taking part in an employment zone programme, will be treated as if you were still on a qualifying benefit.

How long can an extended reduction last

You can get an extended reduction for up to four weeks. You do not have to make a special application for it. Your local authority may have taken the option to increase the period for which they will allow extended reductions to more than four weeks. Check with your local authority.

How much will the extended reduction be

If you stay in the same property, your extended reduction will be the higher of the following amounts:

  • the rate it was paid in the last week before you stopped receiving the qualifying benefit
  • the CTR payable, calculated on the basis of your new circumstances
  • your partner's entitlement to CTR.

If you move house during the period that extended reductions are due, provided you are liable for council tax in the new property, the reduction will continue at the same rate.

If your move is to a property in another local authority, the extended reduction will be paid by your previous local authority, and may be paid directly to you, instead of to your new council tax account. When you, or you partner apply for a CTR from your new local authority, that CTR will be reduced by the amount of any extended reduction you are getting

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