Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Who can claim

Housing Benefit

You can claim Housing Benefit if:

  • have a low income, from benefits or work including self employment
  • have savings of less than £16,000

Housing benefit is a means tested benefit payable to people who are responsible for paying rent. We work out how much you will get by looking at the:

  • amount of money you receive
  • amount of savings and investments you have
  • circumstances and income of people who live with you

If you receive a Housing Cost Element as part of your Universal Credit award, you will not be able to claim Housing Benefit.

Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction is a means tested entitlement available to people who are responsible for paying council tax.  You can apply for Council Tax Reduction if you rent or own your home or live rent free.  We work out how much your bill will be reduced by looking at the;

  • amount of money you receive.
  • amount of savings and investments you have.
  • circumstances and income of people who live with you.

If your savings and investments are over £16000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you must still make a separate application to the Shetland Islands Council for Council Tax Reduction.

If your savings and investments are over £16,000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Reduction.

 

Important Changes from 1st April 2017:

From 1st April 2017 the Scottish Government is changing the way Council Tax for properties in Bands E – H is calculated.  The changes mean people living in these properties will have more Council Tax to pay.  If you are on a low income you may be entitled to receive help with these extra charges, even if you didn’t qualify before.  Single person households with net income of up to £321 per week (approx £16,750 per year) and all other households with net income of up to £479 per week (approx £25,000 per year) are eligible to apply for a full exemption from the increased charge through the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Second Adult Reduction

If you do not qualify for Council Tax Reduction but have a second adult over 18 in the property who is not your partner and is on a low income you can apply for a Second Adult Reduction (SAR).  Second Adult Reduction can only be awarded if the other adult over 18;

  • does not pay rent for living in your home.
  • is not your spouse or partner.
  • has a low gross income and are not counted as a disregarded person for council tax purposes.