Help with council tax

Are you struggling to pay?

Find out about reductions, discounts and exemptions

Organisations who can help

If you are struggling to pay your bill and would like advice there are some organisations in the borough who can help. See Help paying

Council tax support

If you are on a low income and need help to pay your council tax bill, then you may qualify for council tax support.

Find out if you qualify for council tax support by using our online application and calculator.

Apply for council tax support

Use the online benefit application and calculator to:

  • see how much housing benefit and council tax support you could get if you rent
  • check and claim council tax support if you own your home
  • find out if you're entitled to pension credit.

The calculation is based on the information you provide.

Universal Credit (UC) and council tax support are separate schemes and claiming UC does not automatically entitle you to council tax support. If you have recently claimed or been awarded UC and would like help with your council tax, please use the online benefit application and calculator to apply.

More about claiming housing benefit and council tax support

Council tax support and Universal Credit

Although most people who receive UC no longer have help with their housing costs provided by the council, support with council tax is claimed from us whether someone is on UC or not.

To make sure that council tax support does not undermine work incentives, our council tax support scheme is able to mirror UC income allowances. There's an explanation of how this works in the reference document.

Further details of how council tax support works in Hammersmith & Fulham are in the reference document for our scheme.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme

  • Council Tax Reduction Scheme - Summary - 2021/22

    Introduction

    The London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme is based on  the CTRS (Default) Scheme Regulations 2012 except where otherwise stated and the Prescribed Regulations updated and issued annually by Government.

    The Scheme will be published on the Council’s website with only necessary minor and consequential in-year adjustments made to reflect Government changes to the amount and treatment of welfare benefits, including Tax Credits and Universal Credit.

    The definition and detail of the above Regulations can be found on the National Legislation website: http://www.legislation.gov.uk

    The 2021/22 scheme is based on the 2020/21 scheme, but is updated for legislative amendments, income updating and administrative changes.

    Principles of the Scheme for 2021/22

    The principles of the scheme provide for a system based on:

    • Ensuring that those who can afford to pay make a fair contribution;
    • Support is provided for those in difficult circumstances;
    • The Scheme protects the most vulnerable.
       

    Classes of persons

    Classes of persons excluded from the Scheme are set out in the Prescribed Regulations, 2021, including those treated as not resident in Great Britain and who are subject to immigration control.

    Uprating

    Working Age claimants – The uprating of applicable amounts, premiums and disregards are updated in line with the Housing Benefit Statutory Regulations 2006 as laid down by the Department of Work and Pensions in the Uprating Document for 2021-22.

    Pensionable Age claimants– The uprating of applicable amounts, premiums and disregards are updated in line with the CTRS Prescribed Regulations, issued by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for 2021-22.

    Working age claimants

    The main changes to the Default Scheme Regulations 2012 are summarised below.

    All non-dependant deductions have been increased in line with the Prescribed Regulations 2021.

    Our non-dependant deductions for 20/21 are :

    • Lowest Deduction £ 4.05
    • Highest Deduction £12.45
       

    For earnings from remunerative work:

    • £  4.05 pw on earnings up to £282.99
    • £  8.30 pw on earnings from £283 to £376.99
    • £10.40 pw on earnings from £377 to £468.99
    • £12.45 pw on earnings from £469 and above.
       

    Our income taper is 20%.

    There is no minimum contribution towards Council Tax for excess income, the income taper of 20% will be used to calculate the amount of reduction to be made.

    Our upper Capital threshold is £16,000, our weekly minimum award is 0.50p

    Claims may be backdated for up to 12 months where good cause has been established.

    CTS may be payable on two homes in cases of domestic violence.

    A Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Fund was introduced in 2013. Information regarding the fund is available by emailing counciltax@lbhf.gov.uk

    Protected groups

    The following groups are exempt from the contribution towards their Council Tax.

    • War Widows
    • A Claimant or partner in receipt of Carers Allowance
    • A Claimant or partner in receipt of High Rate Disability Living Allowance (Mobility and Care component) or Enhanced Personal Independence Payments (Daily Living and Mobility Component)
    • A Claimant or partner in receipt of the support component of Employment and Support Allowance.
    • A Claimant or partner who are Foster Carers and who were recruited and trained by Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
    • Care Leavers under 25 years old.
    • Pensioners.
       

    Backdating is one month for working age and for pension age claimant’s, a claim can automatically be treated as made up to 3 months earlier.

    The date of change for those reporting a change in their circumstances is the Monday following the date of change, regardless of the date notified.

    Where Housing Benefit or Universal Credit is already in payment, a new claim for Council Tax Support is not required if it is within 6 months of a previous end date of a claim.

    Appeals 

    A claimant can make an appeal to the council concerning their entitlement to a Council Tax reduction under the Scheme or the amount of reduction they are entitled to. The appeals procedure is set out in the Prescribed Regulations 2021.

    An appeal must be made within one month of the decision and include the reason for the appeal and the period it applies to. Any additional evidence to support the appeal should be provided. The council will consider the appeal and inform the customer of the outcome. Where a customer remains dissatisfied they can appeal further to the Valuation Tribunal.

    Reviewed 6 April 2021

If you would like further advice about council tax support, please email benefits@lbhf.gov.uk.