Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit

You may be able to get help with your Council Tax and rent if you are on a low income or getting certain benefits.

Council Tax Reduction

Dumfries and Galloway Council are still responsible for assessing any entitlement to help with your Council Tax liability via Council Tax Reduction. You'll need to make a separate claim for any reduction in Council Tax you may be entitled to, it is not included as part of Universal Credit.

Apply for Council Tax Reduction

(unfortunately you cannot apply online using mobile devices)

Council Tax Reduction Is Changing for Universal Credit Customers

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is changing with effect from 1 April 2022 for customers who receive Universal Credit.

If you are currently receiving Council Tax Reduction you may find your weekly award increases or decreases from 1 April 2022.  If this is the case, we will be in touch to advise of the change.  Your Council Tax Reduction award from 1 April 2022 will be shown on your council tax bill for 2022/2023 and you will receive a full notification confirming your entitlement and how this has been calculated.

If you are receiving Universal Credit but are not currently receiving Council Tax Reduction and are liable for council tax in Dumfries & Galloway, you should apply using the link above.

Understanding Your Council Tax Reduction Entitlement from 1 April 2022 - Universal Credit Recipients

The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme is set in law made by Scottish Government and Parliament.  The previous Council Tax Reduction scheme for working age households is being replaced with a new scheme effective from 1 April 2022. 

How Will the New Scheme Work? 

Those customers who do not receive Universal Credit will see no difference in the way their Council Tax Reduction is calculated. 

Those receiving Universal Credit will see a change though your Universal Credit will still be used to assess your Council Tax Reduction, but the calculation will be different.  Majority of our Council Tax customers will see no change in the amount of Council Tax Reduction they are awarded, some will see an increase and others will see a decrease. 

Council Tax Reduction scheme entitlement will be based on: 

A.      Household income and yours and/or your partners savings/capital 
B.      Your Applicable Amount - figure based on your circumstances, household make-up etc as well as on the circumstances of those in your household.  This amount is set by the government to meet basic living costs 
C.      Your total eligible council tax liability charge 

A.      Household Income and Savings/Capital 

Your Universal Credit claim details will still be used to calculate your Council Tax Reduction.   

In calculating your entitlement, we will take account of: 

  • Any amount you are awarded as the Child Element in Universal Credit 
  • Any amount you are awarded as the Disabled Child Element in Universal Credit 
  • Any amount you are awarded as the Childcare Element in Universal Credit and 
  • Any amount you are awarded as the Transitional Element in Universal Credit 

The total of these plus any other income you receive, eg Jobseekers Allowance, Employment & Support Allowance, Carers Allowance, pensions, earnings etc will be used in the calculation. 

If your actual award of Universal Credit, including deductions made*, is less than the total of the above elements your Universal Credit award amount will be used in the calculation for Council Tax Reduction.  

*Deductions for advance payments, debts & loans repayments, tax credits recovery, managed payments to landlord etc will be included when working out your award of Universal Credit.  

You will still be exempt from claiming Council Tax Reduction if your total capital exceeds £16,000.  Any amount over £6,000 will affect your entitlement as we will deduct £1.00 each week from your entitlement for every £250, or part thereof, over this £6,000 lower limit. 

B.      How Much Is My Applicable Amount? 

Your applicable amount is made up of: 

  • A personal allowance for you and your partner if you have one, and 
  • An addition for children who live with you, and 
  • Any premiums based on special circumstances, e.g. a disability premium because someone in the family is disabled, and 

C.      Your Total Eligible Council Tax Liability Charge 

To calculate your Council Tax Reduction, we need to work out what your 'total eligible council tax liability charge' is. Water and sewerage charges are not eligible for Council Tax Reduction, and we will deduct amounts in relation to any discounts or disregards you receive. 

Example 1: 

Couple Mr & Mrs Jones with 3 children 

Mr & Mrs Jones income and capital 
Universal Credit award (UC) is as follows: 

Standard Allowance

£257.33 

Housing Element

£450.00 

Child Element

£519.58* 

Disabled Child Element

£0.00* 

Childcare Element

£0.00* 

Carer Element

£0.00 

Limited Capability for Work Element

£0.00 

Total entitlement before deductions            

£1226.91                                

Deductions: 

Net earnings deducted after disregard and taper             

£228.25                  

Advance payments

£32.34 

Total Deductions

£260.59 

Total payment for this month is

£966.32 


UC award regarded as £998.66 as Advance Payment included as part of total UC amount paid. 

Other income and capital/savings: 

Child Benefit of £49.15 per week 
Net earnings of £857.23 per month 

No savings or capital 

* elements of UC counted as income from UC in the CTR calculation 

Income calculation 

UC element of £519.58 x 12/52  

£119.90/week 

Earnings £857.23 x 12/52 

£197.82/week 

less £10 per week earnings disregard 

£187.82/week 

TOTAL WEEKLY INCOME  

£307.72/week 

NB Child Benefit income is disregarded 

Applicable amount calculation 

Personal Allowance: couple rate  

£117.40 

 

Child Allowance (3 x £85.75) 

£257.25 

TOTAL 

£374.65 

Council Tax Liability calculation                                                                                   

Council tax liability 

£ 950.93/year 

Sewerage 

£ 191.87/year 

Water 

£ 165.27/year 

Gross liability 

£1308.07/year 

As water & sewerage cannot be included in CTR calculation net council tax liability for CTR 

£950.93/year 

Weekly net Council Tax Liability for CTR purposes (£950.93/365 days x 7 days) 

£18.24* 

* A further weekly amount would be deducted, in certain circumstances, if Mr & Mrs Jones had someone over 18 living with them.  This is called a "non-dependant deduction", it represents that individual's contribution towards the council tax bill and would reduce the amount Mr & Mrs Jones would be entitled to in terms of their maximum possible CTR award. 

Council Tax Reduction Calculation 

Total weekly income 

£307.72 

less Applicable Amount  

£374.65 

Excess Income    

£nil 

 

As Mr & Mrs Jones' income is less than their applicable amount, and they therefore have no excess income within the Council Tax Reduction calculation, they are entitled to receive full Council Tax Reduction of £18.24 per week.   

£948.48 (52 weeks @ £18.24 per week) will be transferred to Mr & Mrs Jones' council tax account and they will be issued with an updated bill showing the reduction and new instalment amounts because of the Council Tax Reduction award 

Example 2: 

Single applicant Mr Smith, over 25 years of age  
Mr Smiths Income and capital 
Universal Credit award is as follows: 

Standard Allowance

£324.84                                  

Housing Element

 £375.00

Child Element

£0.00* 

Disabled Child Element

£0.00* 

Childcare Element

£0.00* 

Carer Element

£0.00

Limited Capability for Work Element

£0.00

Total entitlement before deductions  

£699.84 

Deductions: 

Net earnings deducted after disregard and taper

£205.75 

Advance payments

£32.34 

Total Deductions

£238.09 

Total payment for thia month is

£461.75 


UC award regarded as £494.09 as Advance Payment included as part of total UC amount paid. 

Other income and capital/savings: 

Take home pay of £457.23 

Universal Credit as detailed above 

No savings or capital 

* elements of UC counted as income from UC in the CTR calculation 

Income calculation 

UC elements total of £0.00 x 12/52= 

£0.00/week 

 

Take home pay = £457.23/month 

£105.51/week 

less £5.00 earnings disregard  

£100.51/week 

TOTAL WEEKLY INCOME  

£100.51/week 

Applicable amount calculation 

Personal Allowance: single person over 25 rate 

£74.70 

TOTAL    

£74.70 

Council Tax Liability calculation 

Council tax liability 

£ 950.93/year 

Discount (Single Person) 

£ 237.73/year 

Sewerage 

£ 191.87/year 

Water    

£ 165.27/year 

Gross liability       

£1070.34/year 

As water & sewerage cannot be included in CTR calculation net council tax liability for CTR purposes is 

£ 713.20/year 

Weekly net Council Tax Liability for CTR purposes (£713.20/365 days x 7 days) 

£13.68* 

*A further weekly amount would be deducted, in certain circumstances, if Mr Smith had someone over 18 living with him.  This is called a "non-dependant deduction", it represents that individual's contribution towards the council tax bill and would reduce the amount Mr Smith would be entitled to in terms of his maximum possible CTR award. 

Council Tax Reduction Calculation 

Total weekly income       

£100.51 

less Applicable Amount  

£74.70 

Excess Income 

£30.81 

20% of excess income 

£6.16 

Mr Smith is therefore expected to pay £6.16 per week towards his council tax and is entitled to the remainder of his weekly council tax liability as Council Tax Reduction - £7.52 per week 

A council tax bill will be issued to Mr Smith with £391.04 Council Tax Reduction included reducing his total liability and therefore his instalment amounts. 

We will be contacting customers we calculate will see a reduction in their Council Tax Reduction. 

Housing benefit

You can no longer claim Housing Benefit within Dumfries and Galloway unless you meet certain criteria.

Universal Credit Full Service launched in Dumfries and Galloway on 16 May 2018. This means that anyone seeking assistance with their rent can no longer claim Housing Benefit, and must instead claim Universal Credit , unless they meet one of the exceptions.

Check if you're eligible for benefits

You may be able to get help if:

  • you are the person responsible for paying the rent on a low income
  • you have savings of less than £16,000
  • you are receiving income support, Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credits
  • you are a student with special circumstances

Apply for housing benefit

This application will also be your application for Council Tax Reduction if you are liable for Council Tax.

Apply for housing benefit online

(unfortunately you cannot apply online using mobile devices)

You can also call 030 33 33 3006 or visit a Customer Service Centre  to apply.

You'll need to provide information on:

  • your identity
  • any income you receive
  • any savings you have
  • your national insurance number
  • the same information for a partner
  • details of anyone else living in your house

What happens next

We aim to deal with applications within 14 days of receiving all relevant information.  If upon receipt of your Housing Benefit claim it is determined that you should instead claim Universal Credit, we will contact you as soon as possible.

We'll backdate payments to the Monday after you applied if you're successful.

Discretionary Housing Payments

You may be entitled to an additional Discretionary Housing Payment if you get Housing Benefit or Universal Credit, with Housing Costs included, but still find it hard to pay your rent.

Unhappy with our decision

We have a review process for housing benefit applicants who are not happy with the decision about their application.

Tell us about a change

You should always let us know if your address or circumstances change for any reason.

Report a change of address

Report another change of circumstances

You can also:

Other support

Depending on your situation you may also find help and support from other services. You can find out who might help you locally by using find my nearest and choosing Housing Support Outreach Services.

Page last updated: 20/06/2022
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