Council Tax Reduction and Housing benefit are available to people who have a low income to help towards the cost of rent and council tax. They are means tested benefits - this means the amount of award will depend on your personal circumstances.
Do you qualify?
To qualify for Council Tax Reduction and/or Housing Benefit, you must:
- Be on a low income, whether benefits or low paid work.
- You (and your partner) don't have more than £16,000 capital or savings, unless you are getting Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit).
The Turn 2 Us website offers an online Benefits Calculator. Please note that this is an external site and we cannot accept responsibility for its content.
How to apply
- Pick up a paper copy of the form from Marischal College or any of our area housing offices.
- You can call us on 03000 200 292 to request a form by post.
- You can download a claim form for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction.
Change of circumstance
It is important to let us know about changes in your situation within 4 weeks. If you wait longer than this then we may be unable to backdate your new award and you might lose money as a result.
You can let us know by downloading and completing a Change of Circumstance form.
or by completing the form online.
Or you can call us on 0300 200 292.
Discretionary Housing Payment
In some specific circumstances Discretionary Housing Payments can be used to make up a shortfall in housing benefit, or to help towards a deposit or removal costs to allow you to access suitable housing. Please see the links below for more information or to download an application form.
Discretionary Housing Payments
It may be possible to backdate your claim for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction and pay it from an earlier date if you have good reason for not claiming on time. Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction can be backdated for up to three months if you are of pensionable age and one month if you are younger than this. If you feel you have good cause for your claim/application to be backdated (for example, if you have been in hospital before claiming) then please contact us.
Council Tax bands E-H relief
From April 2017, national legislation was introduced to change the Council Tax multipliers in bands E to H. The Council Tax Reduction Scheme has been amended to provide targeted relief from the increase in the multiplier. The maximum relief that can be awarded under this provision is equivalent to the difference between your Council Tax Bill calculated using the old multiplier and the new multiplier.
Whether you are entitled to relief depends on a number of factors. Single person households with net income up to £16,750 and all other households with net income of up to £25,000 and less than £16,000 in savings are eligible to apply for full relief from the increased charge through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
•Note: Council Tax Reduction is not awarded against Water and Sewerage (Waste Water) elements of the charge - so even if you are entitled to maximum reduction, there will still be an amount to pay.
Council Tax and Housing Benefit fraud
The Department of Work and Pensions is responsible for preventing and detecting Housing and Council Tax benefit fraud. If you suspect that someone is committing benefit fraud, you can:
- Call the DWP National Benefit Fraud helpline on 0800 854 440
(textphone 0800 320 0512)
- Complete an online form at www.gov.uk/report-benefit-fraud
- Write to: NBFH, PO Box 224, Preston, PR1 1GP
Local Housing Allowance
Local Housing Allowance (LHA) is the name given to housing benefit when claimed for private tenancies (rather than a council or housing association property).
See the Local Housing Allowance rates.
Contacting Housing Benefit / Council Tax Reduction
We will ask for proof of identity if you are contacting us to discuss a claim. We may ask you for your housing benefit reference number, your creditor reference number, your national insurance number or other identifying details.
If you are a landlord receiving direct payments of housing benefit you will need to provide your creditor reference number, your tenants housing benefit reference number, and your bank account and sort code. You can find the relevant reference numbers on the landlord payment schedule.
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us on 03000 200 292
- Drop in to Marischal College or one of our housing offices.
- Write to us at: Revenues and Benefits, Business Hub 16, Third Floor West, Marischal College, Broad Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1AB.
If you think a decision might be wrong
If you would like more information about a decision, or if you think a decision we made is wrong, you can get in touch with us at the above address to request more information. You should do this within one month of being notified or we may not be able to consider any dispute. For Council Tax reduction, the time limit is two months.
If you have asked us to look at your council tax reduction claim again, and you are still dissatisfied, you can ask for a review by an independent Council Tax Reduction Review Panel.
See more information about the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel.