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Jayleen

Council Tax Rules Regarding Wages

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Can someone please tell me how the Council Tax Benefits are worked out when a person earns more than usual for 1 month ? It used to be the case where they had to wait 2 consecutive months before making any changes to the benefit award . Is this still the case or has it changed ?

 

Also if a person works for a full month but doesn’t get paid until the 15th of the following month do they go by the ‘ full months ‘ wage when working this out or do they work it out between the 15th of one month to the 15th of the next ?

 

My Son who is a “ non-dependant “ forwards his wage slips every month to the benefits . In April he happened to earn more than usual and in May his wage went back to normal . I have just had a CT bill to pay more from the 1st April to the 5th June . Yes that’s right June, even though his wages went back to normal in the May & his top line was even less in the June. In fact the first 5 days of June he was only at work 1 night the other 4 were nights off .

 

I tried ringing them about it and the woman on the other end said that they worked it out between 15th to the 15th , even though they have his Monthly wage slips which start on the first day of the Month to the last day . This still doesn’t make sense because this extra payment starts on the 1st April and not 15th .

 

When I questioned this she hung up on me !!! I can’t seem to get an explanation from anyone. I’ve tried emailing with facts and figures and still no response . They don’t even send an extra sheet of paper anymore with the main bill explaining the new amount or the reason why . It seems to be a case of like it or lump it .

 

Any help appreciated , thanks.

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Council Tax support changed in 2013, so all councils run different systems now. It's been bad for me, because where I previously qualified for some help, now I'm liable for the full amount. Council Tax in my area is pretty steep, too. Anyway, it's now called Council Tax Reduction, and your council will have its own rules regarding wages, income, etc. There's more info on the Citizen's Advice website. I can't link to it, as I've never posted before. Sorry, this probably isn't much help.

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This still doesn’t make sense because this extra payment starts on the 1st April and not 15th . When I questioned this she hung up on me !!! I can’t seem to get an explanation from anyone. I’ve tried emailing with facts and figures and still no response

 

Some Councils are not very good with numbers.

You can write to them to make a formal complaint (the address and procedure will be on their web site) but be sure to put the heading "Formal Complaint - Council Tax Benefit Account ****" and make the first sentence "This is a formal complaint" otherwise they might treat your letter as an informal enquiry.

 

 

You should keep a copy of your letter and obtain a (free) posting receipt.

The result of a formal complaint will be that the issues get recorded and someone else will look at things but it's quite possible that, even if you escalate the complaint, it may achieve nothing more.

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Keep all records of who spoken to or if not that at least the time and detailed notes so you can refer to them

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Once you have gone through the standard complaints procedure you can make an appeal to a Valuation Tribunal if you are still not happy with how the CTR has been calculated - they can look at 1) whether the scheme is in itself within the delegated remit the government gave them and 2) whether the council have applied their own scheme correctly.

 

There's also the possibility of a complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman - they can hear complaints about whether the council have acted appropriately and reasonably (they cannot however rule on anything which falls under the remit of the Valuation Tribunal)

 

Craig

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Hi all councils are now different and set their own rules on reductions etc so you do need to speak to your council. I would def file an official complaint so it's looked at by somebody more knowledgable.

 

If you go to your local citizens advice they will be aware of your local council rules. Sometimes it's had to get an appointment but our local children's centres run a session and sometimes other agencies do too so that's a good way of getting an appointment quicker. They will still do appointments though. I called once to see if any cancellations ( as often people don't turn up) anyway I got the appoint r for the no show as i was just round the corner and they allowed an hour for the appointment

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