Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Working age and pension age rules 

There are different rules for applicants of working age and applicants of pension age. A full copy of the rules governing both schemes is available to download which should be read together with documents incorporating statutory changes made to the schemes.

If you are a mixed age couple, (one person in your partnership is a working age person and the other person is of state pension age), then you will be applied to the pensioner scheme unless you wish to remain on the working age scheme.  Please contact our Customer Services department for more information on which scheme to have your award of Council Tax Reduction calculated.

Council Tax Reduction Scheme documents (PDFs)

Working Age Scheme

Our scheme is reviewed each year and the following rules applies to the 2021-2022 entitlement.

For 2021-22 the Council has applied a banded approach to entitlement in order to reduce administration costs to providing this financial assistance to your Council Tax bill. The banded approach will;

  • Provide less changes applied to your annual entitlement to create a stable approach to council tax collection for the year.
  • Reduce the number of letters and new bills for Council tax, as each time a change is applied a new notification by law has to be sent to you.
  • If you have a direct debit for the remaining amount after your Council Tax Reduction has been applied, this is less likely to changes to your award will only be made if you banding entitlement changes in year.

Your letters will not include an applicable amount anymore as this is not required in our scheme.  People who have both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction your letters will look different.  

From 2013 Council Tax Reduction has no longer been a ‘benefit’ and administered by the local authorities for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), but a ‘discount’ and local authorities administer this award for Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).  The Councils approach this year is to award a discount to the Council Tax charge based upon a percentage, to mirror other discounts within Council Tax legislation upon reducing the amount of council tax that need to be paid.

We have protected the following groups and principles within the scheme for 2021-22;

  • Passported Benefit claims (where people are awarded Job Seekers Allowance-Income Based, Employment Support Allowance-Income Related and Income Support) will receive full Council Tax Reduction, less any non-dependant deductions.
  • Protected Child Benefit payments.  When we calculate the weekly amount of money which the household receives, this money is not included.  This is the same as the previous years’ schemes.
  • Maintained the £20 earnings disregard.  Where claims have a wage or salary used in the calculation, the first £20 is not taken into account.  This is to match previous year’s calculations.  Please note that where the Council matched the Government approach to award the further £20, totalling £40 disregard, due to Covid 19 in the 2020-21 scheme, this has been removed.
  • Working Tax Credit will have the additional disregard applied to the WTC award where 30 hours employment is reported to HMRC.
  • Child care costs are disregarded up to the levels of a single child £175 and more than one child of £300 per week 
  • Child Tax Credits are not use in working out your income.
  • Carers Allowance
  • Capital levels are still used.  Claimants who have access to more than £16,000 will not qualify for help towards their Council Tax bill.  Claims which have between £6,000 and £15,999.99 will have a tariff income applied of £1 for every £250 in excess of £6,000.  This is matching the previous year’s scheme.
  • Non-dependant deductions remain in our scheme and the deductions are based upon the band in which your entitlement to CTR is applied.

Income bands for any qualifying income you receive are as follows;

Income bands
Band Your weekly income 2021/22 Discount on council tax bill
1 £0 - £142.99 100%
2 £143 - £213.99 75%
3 £214 - £309.99 50%
4 £310 - £402.99 25%
5 £403 and over 0%

Income bands for any qualifying income you receive are as follows;

Table showing non-dependant deductions
Gross income on non-dependant Non-dependant deduction rate
Less than £216.99 (and Universal Credit claimaints over 25) £4.05
£217-£376.99 £8.30
£377 to £468.99 £10.40
£469 and above £12.45

In 2020-21 the Government provided local authorities with funding to award people who were in receipt of Council Tax Reduction a further award towards their council tax charge.  In the case of Oxford City the award was made up to £250 per account.  From 2021-22, this further funding no longer applies.

How to make a claim 

If you are on a low income you may be entitled to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and should make a claim. Details of how to claim can be found on our Apply for Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Reduction page.