If you move house or any details change which may affect your Council Tax liability, you are required by law to notify us.
You must notify us of any of the following changes:
- Have you moved house?
- Do you qualify for a discount disregard?
- Has someone passed away?
- Do you live alone?
- Has someone moved in with you?
- Any other changes? e.g. Change of Name, Change in method of payment.
You should therefore inform us of any changes to your circumstances. You can do this by email, post or by visiting one of our Contact Centres. You can download a change of circumstances form here.
From April 2013 every local council had to devise its own local scheme to replace the former national Council Tax Benefit scheme. The government also reduced the amount of money it gave to local councils for this by 10%. Pensioners continue to receive the same level of help under the local schemes as they did under the former national scheme, under the new rules. You can download the housing benefit and council tax support form here.
The changes meant that anyone in the Bolsover District is of working age and who was in receipt of full Council Tax benefit now has to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax.
Regulations set by Central Government state that the above changes cannot be applied to claimants of a pensionable age. A person is a pensioner if they have attained the qualifying age for state pension credit and they are not, or, if they have a partner, their partner is not in receipt of income support, income-based jobseekers allowance, income-related employment and support allowance or universal credit.
If you are entitled to some help towards your rent or Council Tax, you may be able to apply for an additional award known as a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP). DHPs are paid on top of Housing and Council Tax Benefit to people who find that the shortfall between their benefit and their housing costs causes them exceptional hardship.
DHPs can only be paid up to the maximum amount of Council Tax or eligible rent that is due, and cannot be paid for some service charges included in the rent, for example water charges. They are also only intended to be a temporary top up, so will not be paid indefinitely. You may be able to negotiate a lower rent with your landlord, or may have to consider finding alternative accommodation that you can afford.
The amount of money the Council is allowed for DHPs is limited, awards are made at the Council's discretion, and each application will be considered on it's own merits.
You must make any application for a Discretionary Housing Payment in writing, giving us the reasons why you cannot afford the shortfall between your benefit and your housing costs. We will notify you of our decision in writing. If we turn you down you can ask us to consider your application again, but there is no formal right of appeal.
Please download the DHP form (207kb) here.
We have a duty under benefit regulations to ensure that benefit is only paid to bona fide persons.
We carry out investigations where it is felt that claimants are receiving benefit to which they are not entitled. Benefit fraud is a crime and is dealt with in the appropriate way. This action could be prosecution in Court, possibly leading to a criminal record or imprisonment. Anyone found committing benefit fraud will have to pay back any money to which they had no entitlement and some may have additional action taken against them.
If you know, or suspect, that a person is claiming Housing Benefit and/or Council Tax Support that they are not entitled to please contact us immediately. For example someone could:
- Claim benefit for a property and live somewhere else;
- Have other people living in the property but they have not told us about them;
- Are working and claiming Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance;
- Have failed to declare to us ALL of their income; or Have failed to inform us about their savings or investments (including property that they own).
If you believe someone to be claiming benefits fraudulently, you can call us or contact the Department for Work and Pensions.