West Berkshire Council

Council Tax Reduction

You'll get money off your Council Tax bill if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction

In 2021/22 there are no significant changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTR) for West Berkshire. 

The CTR scheme for 2021/22 continues to mirror Housing Benefit annual uprating of allowances and premiums used in the calculation of entitlement.

Local variations in working age CTR schemes are summarised below, and were implemented following consultation. These amendments do not apply to pension age claimants or working age claimants who fall within a protected group (see below for more information on protected groups).

The following working age scheme amendments continue into 2021/22:

  • The capital limit for people of working age seeking to claim CTR has reduced from £16,000 to £6,000, unless a claimant or partner qualify for an income-related benefit (income based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support). Where the sum of capital held by claimant and/or their partner exceeds £6,000, either on 1 April 2020 or on the date of a new claim for CTR (whichever is the later), there will be no entitlement to CTR for the entire remainder of the billing year.

  • The maximum Council Tax liability eligible for CTR cannot exceed the amount for a Band C property. If you are residing in a property banded D to H you can receive CTR but this will be limited to the amount which would have been received if living in a Council Tax band C property within the same parish.

  • A minimum contribution is payable by working age claimants, equivalent to 30% of Council Tax liability after deductions for any other discounts or reductions.

  • If neither claimant or partner are receiving an income related benefit, the percentage of excess income (taper) used in the calculation is 30%. Excess income is the difference between weekly income and applicable amounts (the applicable amount is the minimum weekly income figure set by Central Government for anyone sharing your circumstances).

  • The minimum weekly CTR award is £10 per week. No CTR will be awarded where calculated entitlement is below this level.

  • Second adult rebate is no longer available where another adult is residing with you. CTR can only be awarded where the income and circumstances of a claimant and partner (if applicable) qualify for an entitlement.


100% of a Council Tax bill can only be considered for reduction in some circumstances, for instance, if you or your partner are of pensionable age or fall into a protected group. This means that Council Tax Reduction will be deducted from your full Council Tax liability if you or your partner:

  • are of State Pension age and not receiving a working age benefit
  • are in receipt of Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment
  • are in receipt of Attendance Allowance
  • are in receipt of a War Pension
  • are in receipt of a disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • are in receipt of Severe Disablement Allowance
  • are in receipt of Incapacity Benefit at the long term rate or, if they are terminally ill, the short term higher rate
  • are in receipt of Employment and Support Allowance (income or contribution based)
  • are in receipt of a 'limited capability for work' component within an award of Universal Credit 
  • are responsible for a child or young person who lives with you and receives Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment

Owners of empty homes in West Berkshire have to pay Council Tax for those properties.

Making a claim

You can apply for Council Tax Reduction whether you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.

To make a claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction please print and complete pdf icon the claim form [1Mb] and return it to us. If you are unable to print the form, you can request one to be sent to you by telephoning Customer Services.

You can see full details of the pdf icon scheme for 2021/22 [1Mb].

A summary of the pdf icon 2021/22 West Berkshire Council Tax Reduction Scheme [62kb] is also available.

Alternatively, whilst we are not yet able to offer a full electronic claim process, doc icon you can apply by downloading a claim form [784kb]. This allows the form to be saved to a device, completed electronically and returned to us as an email attachment. In order to secure your personal information, we recommend that you follow the procedure below:

  1. send an email to benefits@westberks.gov.uk letting us know that you would like to submit a new claim
  2. we will email you back via secure email, inviting you to submit your claim form.
  3. once you receive our secure message, if you select 'reply', your application form and any other scanned evidence you attach to your message will be sent to us securely

Please note that we are currently experiencing high volumes of queries and therefore there may be a delay between sending your initial message (at step one) and our secure response (at step two). You will not lose benefit as a result of delays in our response. As long as you return the form at step three within a month of the date it was issued to you, the start of your claim will be calculated according to the date you first contacted us (at step one). 

 

Keep us informed

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction and your circumstances have changed, please report the change(s) using our doc icon change of circumstances form [792kb]. This may affect how much Council Tax you have to pay.

We'll send you a revised Council Tax bill showing any changes.

Disagreements and appeals

If you disagree with our decision regarding your entitlement to Council Tax Reduction you can ask us to look at it again.

You should contact us promptly, in writing (by letter), telling us what you think is wrong and why.

Exceptional Hardship Fund

If you have applied for Council Tax Reduction but you believe that you (or a member of your family) will suffer exceptional hardship if you do not receive further assistance, a doc icon Council Tax Reduction Scheme Exceptional Hardship Claim [65kb] should be completed and returned to the Benefits Team. This form is now provided in Word format so that it can be completed and returned to us in the same way as a claim for Council Tax Reduction: Please follow the procedure detailed above in the 'Making a Claim' section.

Who To Contact

West Berkshire Council's Benefits Team

01635 519258