Council Tax Reduction - changes in your circumstances
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.
If you give incorrect or misleading information in connection with your application for CTR, or you fail to report a change of circumstances after you have been awarded a reduction, you may be committing fraud. Even if you are not committing fraud, you can cause an overpayment which will have to be repaid and you may have to pay a penalty. CTR is not actually a benefit, but the rules about CTR and fraud are like the rules about benefit fraud.
When you are getting a Council Tax Reduction CTR, you should tell the local authority about any changes which you could reasonably be expected to know might affect your entitlement to CTR, or the amount of CTR you receive. You should tell them within 21 days, or as soon as possible after the change. The decision about your CTR award will be reconsidered and it may be changed. The amount may increase or decrease, or you may no longer be entitled.
You must tell the local authority if you or your partner stop receiving income support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA), income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or the guarantee credit part of pension credit.
If you, or your partner are on pension credit, you should report most changes to the Pension Service, but you should tell the local authority about the following:
- changes involving non-dependants, and
- absence from your home, if the absence is likely to be more than 13 weeks, and
- if you, or your partner are on savings credit only, changes in membership of your household, changes involving dependent children (not a change in the child's age), changes to any capital that could take it over £16,000 and changes to the income and capital of a partner which have not been taken into account in the pension credit claim.
How to report changes in circumstances
You can report changes in circumstances in writing, by telephone or by any other method allowed by your local authority. If you report a change by telephone, make a note of the date and time you did this and who you spoke to. You should always follow up your phone call in writing and keep a copy of your letter or email. You should report changes within 21 days, or as soon as possible after the change happens.
When will the changes affect your CTR
Most changes which affect your CTR will take effect from the day of the change.
Moving to a new area
If you move to a new local authority area you should tell your old local authority and apply for CTR to your new authority.
Other useful information
- For more information about pension credit, see Benefits for older people