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When assessing entitlement to benefit, the earnings and other income of the person making the claim is compared to a level of referred to as the 'applicable amount,' which is an assessment of the minimum amount of money that a claimant and household need to live on. Generally speaking the applicable amount is a similar level to that which a person would receive from Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance. The applicable amount represents the amount of money that the government says a person or a family need to live on for a week. The amount varies according to the circumstances of the claimant (e.g. single parent families, disabled persons). If people get Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) then they will get full council tax benefit after any non dependant deductions have been made. If people are not in receipt of these then the amount of benefit they are entitled to is calculated by comparing their weekly income with their applicable amount. If a claimant’s weekly income is under the applicable amount or is the same as it, they are entitled to full council tax benefit. (People in these circumstances should apply for Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance as they may get more assistance.) Again deductions can be made for non dependant people living in the same house, except when the person making the claim is blind or gets the higher rate of the care component of disability living allowance.  If a claimant’s earnings exceed the applicable amount then the council tax benefit entitlement is reduced by a rate of 20p for every £1 of excess income. Income can also include assumed earnings from any savings the person making the claim has. Council tax benefit is therefore means tested and the 20p in the pound reduction is referred to as the taper. (Housing benefit has a 65p in the £1 taper.)








Council Tax Benefits Charges Rates Bands Exemptions

Copyright (2007)