The Council Tax Benefit scheme has been abolished by the Government from April 2013, and all councils have had to replace it with their own local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The new scheme started on April 1, 2013.
The Council Tax Reduction Scheme reduces the amount of Council Tax that a person has to pay where they are on a low income. The scheme applies a means test to determine if any person is entitled to a reduction.
The Government has stated that under the new local Council Tax Reduction Schemes, there can be no changes for pensioner claimants. However, non-pensioner claimants will have to pay more Council Tax.
You are classed as a pensioner if you have reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit (or if you are a couple and one of you has reached the qualifying age for Pension Credit). The qualifying age for Pension Credit is the age when you first qualify for your State Pension. You can get more details about this on the Government's website.
However, if one of you is in receipt of one of the following benefits you will not be classed as being a pensioner, regardless of you or your partner’s actual age, for the purposes of calculating Council Tax Reduction:
- Income Support
- Jobseekers Allowance
- Employment Support Allowance
- Universal Credit
If you are not classed as a pensioner, you are classed as being of working age.
2019-20 Council Tax Reduction Scheme
Sefton Council has decided to continue with the 2018-19 Council Tax Reduction Scheme in 2019-20
In March 2019, there were around 13,700 working age residents in the borough who claim help with their Council Tax through the scheme.