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Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction- general information

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction are means tested benefits administered by the local authority on behalf of the Government. From 1st April 2013 Council Tax Benefit has been abolished and replaced with a national Scottish Council Tax Reduction scheme. Local Authorities will administer Council Tax Reduction on behalf of Scottish Government.

This simplified introduction to Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction is for guidance only. It does not cover all rules for all benefits/reductions in every situation and should not be treated as a complete and authoritative statement of the law.

Tenants of a local authority or a private landlord can get assistance to pay rent and Council Tax; owner-occupiers can get assistance to pay their Council Tax.

Working Age or Pension Age

The forms you complete and the benefit/reductions you receive may be affected by your age, please make sure you know which category you fall into before downloading any information or application forms.

If you are of pension age there are claim notes which help you complete the claim form. There are also additional forms to complete if you are a private tenant, are working or self-employed, or have any other adults or any dependant children living with you.

Claim notes and additional forms

View our Frequently Asked Questions page How to claim? to download and print claim notes and additional forms.

Working Age means you are not entitled to State Retirement Pension and/or Pension Credit.

Pension Age means you are entitled to State Retirement Pension and/or Pension Credit.

If you are unsure which category you fall into, please contact the Benefits Team.

In order to make a claim you must provide proof of your identity, National Insurance number, income, savings and all capital; this information is also required for your partner if you have one. If you are living together as a couple your income is assessed jointly.

Benefit is normally paid from the Monday after we receive your claim form. This means it is essential that you make your claim as soon as possible and do not delay. If you wish to register your claim quickly, please download a short claim form which you should complete and return to us as soon as possible - we will contact you for further information and to complete a full claim form. If you wish to submit a full claim now, view our FAQ page 'How to claim'.

If your own income is too high for you to qualify for Council Tax Reduction but someone else in your household is on a low income, you may be entitled to an Alternative Maximum Council Tax Reduction (previously known as a Second Adult Rebate) of up to 25% of your Council Tax liability. It is important you do not delay in applying as in most cases we are not able to backdate Council Tax Reduction even if you would have been entitled to an award if you had claimed earlier.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction Calculator

If you want to find out if you may be entitled to Housing and / or Council Tax Reduction then you can use a benefits calculator as a guide.

In addition to the standard computer version of our calculator, we now offer an extra version for smartphones and tablets available on the Android and iPhone platforms, just select which calculator to use from the  - Benefit Calculator.

However, please note that the results of this calculator are not necessarily accurate as your actual entitlement cannot be assessed until all evidence required to assess your entitlement is received by the Benefits Team.

If you rent a property from a private landlord then the rent amount that you should use in the calculator is your applicable Local Housing Allowance Rate. Current rates can be found on our LHA rates page - view current rates.

Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction FAQs

These FAQs are designed to provide a better understanding of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction and other benefit changes as a result of the Welfare Reform Act.

Under Occupancy - Working Age

If you rent a property from the Council or Housing Association then the maximum Housing Benefit you can receive is based on your household bedroom allowance.

Benefit Cap

The benefit cap is part of the Welfare Reform Bill. By the end of September 2013, a cap will be introduced on the total amount of benefit that working age people can receive. This will apply to certain households out of work and is intended to ensure that people out of work do not receive more in benefits than the average earnings of working households. Couples/ lone parents will receive a maximum of £500 per week (£26,000 per annum); single people will receive a maximum of £350 per week (£18,200 per annum).

In the first instance, the cap will be administered jointly by Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and local authorities through deductions from Housing Benefit payments. In the longer term it will form part of the new Universal Credit system.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your own claim please contact the Benefits Team.

Last Reviewed: 17/04/2014

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