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Council Tax Reduction

What is it and who can claim?

If you are responsible for paying the Council Tax and you are on a low income, you may be able to get help with some or all of your Council Tax bill.

Who is eligible?

You may get Council Tax Reduction if you pay Council Tax and your income and capital (savings and investments) are below a certain level.

To work out your Council Tax Reduction, we will look at:

  • money you and your partner or civil partner have coming in, including earnings, some benefits and tax credits and things like occupational pensions
  • your savings and your partner's or civil partner's savings
  • your circumstances: for example your age, the size of your family and their ages, if you or any of your family are disabled, and if anyone who lives with you could help with the Council Tax

The most Council Tax Reduction you can get is 100 per cent reduction on your bill.

If you're entitled to Income Support, income-based Jobseeker's Allowance or the 'guarantee credit' of Pension Credit you could get maximum help with your Council Tax.

Who isn't eligible?

  • If you have savings of over £16,000 you can't normally get Council Tax Reduction, unless you're aged 60 or over and getting the 'guarantee credit' of Pension Credit.
  • Most asylum seekers and people sponsored to be in the UK won't get Council Tax Reduction.

To see if you can get any help and for an estimate of your entitlement you can use our benefits calculator.  (Please note - all our forms are compatible with Internet Explorer and Safari, you may experience issues when using other browsers).

How to Claim

There is one claim form to complete and you are assessed for both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction at the same time.

If you are claiming for an address in Flintshire, then the form, together with any evidence to support your claim will need to be returned to us.  As benefit cannot normally be backdated, you should make your claim as quickly as possible.

You can use our on-line ‘Benefits Calculator’ to see if you qualify.  (Please note - all our forms are compatible with Internet Explorer and Safari, you may experience issues when using other browsers).  If you have capital of £16,000 or more you will not be entitled to benefit unless you are getting ‘Guaranteed Pension Credit’.

Claim online

We know that benefit forms can be quite long and complicated, so we have used new internet forms technology to make our on-line application as easy as possible:

• You can fill in the whole form off-line.  It doesn't matter if there are any problems with the internet, you can carry on with the form regardless.  You don't even have to fill it in all in one go.  You can save the form on your computer, and come back to it later.

• The form will help and guide you as you work through it, ensuring that you only fill in parts that are relevant to your claim.  This makes the form much simpler to complete.

• The form checks itself for errors and highlights anything you have missed.  When your form is free of errors it is easier for us to process.

• When completed, you can submit the form directly to our server so we can begin processing your claim without delay.

• Where we need to see evidence from you to support your claim, the form will give you a customised list of exactly what we need to see.

• To protect your privacy, all information you enter on the form is encrypted.  (Please note - all our forms are compatible with Internet Explorer and Safari, you may experience issues when using other browsers).

Online Application Form

By phone:

Call the Benefits Team on 01352 704848 8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday

Home Visit:

If you are unable to visit one of our offices but need help to complete your benefit claim form, please contact us and we can arrange a home visit to help you. 

How it's paid

Council Tax Reduction are paid straight into your Council Tax account.  You'll get a new bill showing the reduced amount of Council Tax you have to pay.

Council Tax Reduction won't affect other benefits you get.

E- Notifications Service

What is E-Notifications?

E-Notifications is the new way to receive your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction notifications instead of getting a traditional notification letter we will send your notification by e-mail.  We can also send your landlord their notifications by email if they request.

What are the benefits of E-Notifications?

E-Notofications will provide a faster, more efficient and convenient way to receive and check your notifications.  Here are some of the advantages:

• You can view your Housing Benefit/Council Tax Reduction notifications as soon as they are available and keep a copy on file.

• You still have the choice to download and print your notifications.

• You can redistribute copies of your notifications quickly and electronically.

• Notifications are issued direct to the intended recipient and are not delayed by post.

• It helps the Council to reduce printing and postage costs.

• It helps protect the environment by saving paper.

How do I register for E-Notifications?

To register to receive E-Notifications, simply complete the short application form.  (Please note - all our forms are compatible with Internet Explorer and Safari, you may experience issues when using other browsers).

Claimant Form

Changes in your circumstances

What do I do if my circumstances change?

You must tell us straightaway about any change in your circumstances. It is your responsibility to let us know of any changes that may affect the amount of benefit you get.

If you do not tell us straight away we may pay you too much benefit, and you will have to pay back the overpayment. Even if you have told another agency, such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or Pension Service, you must still tell us.

If the change means that you are entitled to more benefit and you do not tell us within one month of the change happening, you may lose benefit.

You may be prosecuted if you deliberately give us false information or fail to tell us of a change in your circumstances in order to get more benefit than you have a right to receive.

What type of changes must I tell you about?

Here are some examples of changes affecting you, your partner or a member of your household which you need to tell us about:

• Wages, pensions or benefits go up or down

• Any other change in your income

• Start or stop work

• Change jobs

• Start to get or no longer get any State Benefit

• Savings going up or down, unless they remain less than £6,000 (or less than £10,000 for pensioners aged 60+)

• If the amount of your savings goes over £16,000

• How many people live with you

• Any of your children leaving school

• If you stop receiving Child Benefit for a child

• Moving home (even if you move to another flat or room at the same address)

• Birth of a baby

• Going into hospital or a residential / nursing home

• A change in the amount of rent your landlord charges you

Please note;

This is not a full list and if you are unsure whether a change in your circumstances will affect your benefit please contact us for further advice.

Remember - If in doubt, tell us about it!

How do I report a change?

Please complete the Change in Circumstances form.

What happens next?

Once we have been told about the change we will let you know whether a new application form or any further proof is required.

If you have provided us with everything we need, we will recalculate your benefit and notify you of your new award

View your claim online(My Accounts) 

My Accounts is our online service that allows you to view details of your Council Tax Reduction online:

To use this service you need to register by completing and submitting the online registration form.

Once you are registered, we will send you a username and a random password to the address that we normally write to you at. When you receive them you should login into My Accounts and change them both to something that you can remember more easily. We strongly advise that you do this for your own security.  (Please note - all our forms are compatible with Internet Explorer and Safari, you may experience issues when using other browsers).

Register for My Accounts (Claimant)

or

Log into My Accounts

If you receive Council Tax reduction, you can:

  • View details of your benefit claim
  • Check when a payment is due
  • Check what you have been paid and when
  • Tell us of any changes
  • Repay Housing Benefit overpayments

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it secure?

Yes, we are committed to protecting your privacy online.  To ensure that no-body can read the information you send us we have taken the following measures:

Encryption technologyOur secure server software encrypts all your personal information. Encryption means taking original data (e.g. your username, customer account number and account details) and converting into coded data so that it is unrecognisable as it travels across the Internet.

When you enter the secure area of our website you will see a padlock icon appear in your browser window.  You can click on the padlock to be sure that it is Flintshire County Council you are trusting.

Data ProtectionWe comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 which ensures the protection and care of personal information. We may lawfully disclose information to other public sector agencies to prevent or detect benefit fraud, other crimes and to protect public funds.

We may also use information about you to help you access our services more easily, promote the more efficient delivery of services or help us to recover monies owed.

More information is available about the Data Protection Act

Why do I need a username and password?

You need a username and a password to help ensure access to your online account is secure.  My Accounts uses a combination of a reference number and a separate password, both of which you will be able to change.

What if I forget my password?

Follow the link from the login page and we will send a reminder to your email address.

Can I be 'timed out' of a session?

For security reasons, all connections to My Accounts are timed out after 20 minutes of inactivity. You will need to enter your username and password again to access your account.

When can I use the system?

The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except for short periods of maintenance. These will normally take place between 22.30 and 22.35 each day.  A message will tell you if the system is unavailable.

Benefit Fraud

Flintshire County Council wants everyone who is entitled to claim benefits to apply for them, but stop those who steal from the system.  Fraud has an impact on the amount of Council Tax and income tax you pay and the amount of resources available to the community.

  • Benefits are for the needy - not the greedy.
  • Benefit fraud is theft from everyone, taxpayers and non-tax payers alike. It's theft from those entitled to benefits.
  • Benefit fraud is not just the Government's business - it's everybody's business.

Flintshire County Council is committed to protecting public funds through action against benefit fraud and anyone who cheats the benefit system will not be allowed to get away with it.

What is Benefit Fraud

Benefit fraud is where people claim a benefit including Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support they are not entitled to by giving false information or not telling us when their circumstances change.

People who deliberately claim benefit when they are not entitled to it are committing a criminal offence.

Any person who makes a false statement or produces a false document in order to obtain benefit is committing a criminal offence that is punishable

Any person who fails to notify the Council of a change of circumstances in order to continue to receive benefit is committing a criminal offence that is punishable

Flintshire County Council are anxious to ensure that people who are entitled to benefits receive all the help they need.

We do however consider Benefit Fraud to be a serious offence against not only the Council and the Government, but against society as a whole, for this reason we are seriously committed to tackling the issue of Benefit fraud in a professional manner , working to guidelines and legislation laid by the Government

Money lost to Benefit cheats is money that is supposed to be spent on you and on services provided by the Council.

Benefit fraud is a criminal offence involving false claims for Benefits such as Housing Benefit and Income Support. It is a major part of organised crime today.

How to report suspicions of fraud

If you suspect that someone is claiming benefit fraudulently, please let us know.  All information is kept strictly confidential and you do not have to give your name and address if you don't want

DWP Contact Details

You do not have to give your name and all contacts will be treated in complete confidence.

What information do you need to provide?

The list below indicates the type of information we need in order to initiate an investigation.  Don’t be put off because you don’t know everything on the list, just provide as much information as you can.

  • Name(s) and address(s) of person(s) involved.
  • Type of benefit fraud being committed.
  • Description(s) of persons involved.
  • Vehicles.

Additional information...

If someone is working and claiming:

  • Name & address of employer.
  • How long has person has worked there?
  • Type of work done? - Number of hours? - Level of earnings?
  • Time the person works (start and finish).
  • Are any work clothes worn - description.
  • Is a company vehicle used?

If someone is not declaring a resident partner:

  • Name and description of partner.
  • Approximate age.
  • How long has partner been resident?
  • If partner works, full name and address of their employer, plus times they work. Any work clothes worn / do they have a company vehicle?
  • If the partner is also claiming benefits, do you know from what address and what benefits are being claimed?

If someone is not living at an address:

  • How long has the person not been resident?
  • What address does the person live at?
  • Name of householder there.
  • Have all belongings been removed from address?
  • Does anyone visit to pick up post at address? - When and how often?

If someone is not declaring other capital owned:

  • Type of capital? Bank accounts/house/unit trusts/stocks/shares/premium bonds etc.
  • Which bank(s)?
  • Address of property(s) owned?
  • If other property owned, is it rented out? - to who? - How long has it been rented out? - Any other tenant’s names? - Amount of rent charged?
  • How long have they owned the property?

If someone is not declaring other income:

  • What type of income is it?
  • How much? - How long have they been receiving it? – From who?

If someone is not declaring other adults (not their partner) living with them:

  • Name(s) and descriptions.
  • How long have they been resident?
  • Do you know their previous address?
  • Working or claiming benefits? - Full employer details.
  • If working, the times they work?
  • Do they pay rent to stay there?

Landlords

Sometimes landlords can be involved in the fraud.  If you know or suspect a landlord to be involved in fraudulent activity please provide as many details as you can concerning the property, the tenants and the circumstances involved.

Employers

Employers can sometimes collude with employees to help them abuse the benefits system.  Please provide us with as much evidence as possible if you are aware this is happening.  Employer name, address, premises used, vehicles used, as many employee names as you can, suppliers or customers that employees may deal with regularly.

Vehicles

Provide the make (e.g. Ford) model (e.g. Mondeo) colour and registration of vehicle(s) being used. If a vehicle has logos, markings or business details on it, please ensure these are also given.

Potentially Violent

Confirm if any person involved in the fraud is known to be potentially violent.  If yes, how do you know this?  Remember, the more details you can provide about the alleged fraud, the more likely it is that we'll be able to initiate an investigation.

Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire

We value your feedback on the service you have received.  Please complete our Customer Service Questionnaire on the link below.

Customer Satisfaction Questionnaire

Contact information

You can contact us in the following ways:

By e-mail

benefits@flintshire.gov.uk

By phone

You can ring us between 8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

Our telephone number is 01352 704848

By post

Benefits Team, Flintshire County Council, County Hall, Mold, CH7 6NA