Toggle menu

Coronavirus

Get the latest government advice about coronavirus. Advice for local residents and businesses can be found on our coronavirus information page.

Local council tax support scheme

Previous changes to the scheme

Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) lets us help around 4,500 households pay their Council Tax.

Apply for help with your council tax

Local Council Tax Support for claimants at Pension Age follows the council tax reduction scheme regulations 2012.

The rules for Working Age claimants are set by us.  Guildford rules for working age (PDF) [779KB]

Changes to the rules

2013/14 measures to pass on £300,000 of the government's funding reduction

  • second adult rebate (Alternative Maximum Council Tax Benefit) - withdrawn
  • backdating - reduced from 6 to 3 months
  • minimum weekly award - introduced a £5.00 minimum
  • capital limit (a limit above which assistance will not be provided) - Reduced from £16,000 to £6,000
  • maximum amount of Council Tax Support - restricted to the Band D charge for the area where a property is
  • discretionary hardship fund (supports those affected by the changes in the Local Council Tax Scheme) introduced £40,000 fund
  • income that is disregarded to calculate LCTS entitlement - 100% income disregard for War Disablement Pensions and War Widows/Widowers Pension

2014/15 Measures to pass on a further £170,000 of the government's funding reduction

  • minimum weekly award - increased to £10
  • maximum level of Council Tax Support - no entitlement for properties in bands F, G and H. Band E entitlement restricted to a Band D charge
  • personal allowances and premiums (the amount of money a specific household needs each week) - increased
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased

2015/16 changes

  • income and capital disregards (income that is not included when calculating LCTS entitlement). Introduced 100% income disregard of "personal budget payments. This is in relation to Education, Health and Care plans for children with special education needs

2016/17 Modest changes to pass on a further £300,000 of the governments funding reduction

  • income and capital disregards - removed 100% income disregard for both Child Benefit and Maintenance
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased
  • minimum income for self employed - introduced higher of income or 35 hours x National Minimum Wage

2017/18 no changes

2018/19 changes to ensure the level of help was not reduced by inflation. Also to keep the scheme understandable by mirroring changes to some Housing Benefit rules

  • backdating - reduced from 3 to 1 month
  • personal allowances and premiums - increased 
  • personal allowances and premiums - introduced the exclusion of Family Premium for new entitlements or additional new children
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased
  • minimum income for self employed - introduced an annual increase in the minimum income floor
  • temporary absence outside Great Britain (the period of absence before LCTS is affected) - reduced from 13 weeks to 4 (with some exceptions)

2019/20 changes to ensure the level of help was not reduced by inflation. Also to ensure income or capital from emergency funds treated consistently

  • income and capital disregards - introduced 100% income and capital disregard for funds from "The London Emergencies Trust" and the "We Love Manchester Emergency Fund"
  • premiums - increased 
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased

2020/2021 changes to ensure the level of help was not reduced by inflation. Also to ensure income or capital from emergency funds treated consistently

  • income and capital disregards - introduced 100% income and capital disregard for the "Windrush Compensation Scheme"
  • premiums - increased premiums
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased

2021/22 changes to ensure the level of help was not reduced by inflation. In response to the pandemic relaxation of the band cap and an increase in the Hardship Fund

  • maximum level of Council Tax Support, against which entitlement is calculated - removed band E restriction to a band D charge in response to the pandemic
  • premiums - increased premiums 
  • non-dependent deductions (the amount non-dependents contribute to the household) - increased
  • discretionary hardship fund - increased to £60,000 in response to the pandemic

Proposed changes for 2022/2023

For our 2022/23 LCTS scheme, we are proposing the following changes:

Update the amounts used to calculate entitlement

  • increase personal allowances. This is the amount that a specific type of household is expected to need each week. The allowance is based on government welfare allowances for Housing Benefit (help with rent). This assumes that a single person over 25 needs £74.70 per week and a couple £117.40. There are more allowances for children. Increasing these ensures that the help given does not reduce due to inflation
  • increase premiums. These are amounts for specific needs such as being a carer or having a disability. Increasing these ensures that the help given does not reduce due to inflation
  • increase non-dependant deductions - this means we expect non-dependents aged 18 or over to contribute more to the household they live in. The contributions range from £4.05 per week for someone who is unemployed to £12.45 for someone earning around £24,000 per year

Our Local Council Tax Support scheme remains one of the few that does not require everyone to pay something regardless of their circumstances. Around 71% of current Local Council Tax Support recipients have 100% of their Council Tax paid. Over 94% have 50% or more of their Council Tax paid.

Remove the Band E restriction for 2022

  • in response to the pandemic we removed the cap on help with the Council Tax for residents in a band E property. We propose that this change is extended for a further year. Only 6% of recipients are currently in a band E property

More information 

Alongside the working age Local Council Tax Support Scheme we also have a Hardship Fund. This provides help for those affected by our scheme rules. The fund is not for long term support, but is to help those who are most in need.

We would like to hear your views on the proposed changes for 2022/23.

We would also like your suggestions to reduce, maintain or increase the level of support we offer.

The scheme for pensioners will not change unless the Government makes changes.