Martin Lewis says ‘some people owed £1,000’ in council tax
State Pension payments are often the primary, and can even be the sole, source of income for those who have left the workforce. The payments are built up through a person’s National Insurance contributions throughout their lifetime, but the sum a person receives may be less if they were contracted out before April 6, 2016. Regardless, while the state pension, overseen by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), does help retired people, many may feel as if it is not enough to meet their financial needs.
For those who are looking for alternative methods of aid, a Council Tax Reduction could be the solution to the matter.
Pensioners who have a particularly low income could be entitled to receive Pension Credit, which can top up a weekly income for those eligible.
Guarantee Credit tops up income, and Savings Credit, the other element of the sum, can provide an extra payment for people who saved money towards their retirement.
To be eligible, one must be of state pension age and live in England, Scotland or Wales.
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But what is important to note when it comes to Pension Credit, is that it is often referred to as a ‘gateway benefit’, that is to say, it provides access to other assistance.
As such, recipients of Pension Credit might be able to unlock a Council Tax Reduction.
The rules are dependent on a person’s income and what part of Pension Credit they are receiving, but the outcome can be particularly advantageous.
Those in receipt of Guarantee Credit are entitled to a full reduction on the Council Tax they must pay, with a local authority ignoring a person’s income and capital in this circumstance.
Alternatively, people who receive the savings part of Pension Credit will have their income and capital taken into account when determining the level of a Council Tax Reduction.
However, if capital is more than £16,000, then a person will find they are not entitled to a reduction.
Capital is deemed to be money, or things of monetary vale such as ISAs, stocks and shares, life insurance policies, premium bonds and property owned.
State pensioners who do not currently claim Pension Credit may find they are entitled, but might not receive the full amount.
In this circumstance, it is advisable for Britons to discuss the matter with their local authority in further detail to gain understanding of their circumstances.
But there is concerning information regarding the number of pensioners in receipt of a reduction to their Council Tax.
A recent investigation undertaken by Just Group showed many who are entitled to a Council Tax Reduction are not actually receiving the sum.
The research shows less than half of those asked who are entitled to claim are actually doing so.
This leaves Britons with an average shortfall of £796 per year – a substantial sum.
As a result, people are being urged to look into the issue as a matter of urgency.
Doing so could help thousands of people to save significant amounts of money and reduce financial burdens they may currently be facing.
People will usually be able to apply for a Council Tax Reduction either by logging on to the website of their local authority, or contacting the council vi
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