Ryedale District Council has launched a consultation to seek the public’s views on proposed changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme currently in operation in the district.
Each year the council has to decide whether to change the Council Tax Support scheme for working age applicants in the Ryedale area. The consultation asks for the views of residents on whether to keep the maximum level of support offered under the scheme in Ryedale along with a number of proposed changes.
The proposed changes only apply to the scheme’s working age customers. The scheme for pension age customers is set by Government and is not affected by any of the options set out in the consultation.
The changes being proposed are to align the new Council Tax Support scheme with changes to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit regulations in order to make administration of the scheme easier. These include:
1. Reducing the length of time someone can be temporarily absent from Great Britain and still receive Council Tax Support from 13 to 4 weeks (some exceptions will apply)
2. Changes to the treatment of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) cases affecting new claims made after 1 April 2017
3. Limit the number of dependent children within the calculation for Council Tax Support to a maximum of two where the third child is born after 1 April 2017 (some exceptions will apply)
4. To remove entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (Carers Element) to look after them
Council Tax Support is how the council helps people on a low income to pay their council tax bill. It replaced the national Council Tax Benefit scheme which ended in April 2013 and had been fully funded by the Government.
The consultation is open until 14 October 2016 and can be accessed and completed online at http://www.ryedale.gov.uk/pages/council-information/consultations or by collecting a paper copy from Ryedale House.
The final decision on the proposed changes will be taken by Council in December 2016.