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Housing benefit and council tax reduction

Reduction for people with disabilities

If someone in your home needs an extra room or space to meet their special needs arising from a disability, you may be entitled to a reduced council tax bill.

Your bill may be reduced by one band or, if your property is in band A, you will be entitled to a reduction equivalent to one-ninth of the band D charge. These reductions ensure that people do not pay more tax on account of space needed because of a disability.

Full details of all reductions can be found at: www.southglos.gov.uk/counciltax

If you think you may be entitled to a discount please contact the council on 01454 868003.

Appeals

There are two areas for appeal:

1) Against the valuation band

You can appeal against the band in which your property has been placed if you are the new taxpayer (within 6 months from the date you moved in) or there has been a material change in the value of your property. Details of how to appeal can be found here: www.gov.uk/voa/contact

2) Against your council tax charge

You can appeal if you think you are not liable to pay council tax because you are not the owner, or the resident, or your property is exempt, or there has been a mistake in the calculation of your bill.

These appeals should be made in writing to the Council Tax section, at South Gloucestershire Council. Please note making an appeal does not allow you to withhold payment of council tax owing in the meantime.

Getting the right amount of help

If you are on a low income, receiving retirement pension or just finding it difficult to pay your rent or council tax you may be able to get some financial help.

The amount a person can receive depends on the level of their weekly income, how much money they have in the bank or building society and the number and age of the people in their household.

If you have savings of more than £16,000 you are not eligible for housing benefit unless you qualify for guaranteed pension credit.

To apply for housing benefit and/or council tax reduction you must complete an application form which is available at all council one stop shops, or on our website or by phoning the council on 01454 868002.

 Reporting changes in your circumstances

If you are receiving housing benefit, or council tax exemptions, discounts or reductions, it is very important and your responsibility to tell us immediately of any changes that may affect the amount of benefit, discount or reduction you are entitled to receive.

If you deliberately fail to tell us about a change in your circumstances, you are committing an offence.