What is Main Council Tax benefit?
Most people who receive Council Tax Benefit get Main Council Tax Benefit. The maximum rate of Main Council Tax Benefit is the whole of your council tax, minus any amount deducted for an adult who lives with you and is expected to pay towards the council tax.
You will get your maximum Council Tax Benefit if you receive income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or the Guarantee Credit element of the Pension Credit. These benefits are known as passporting benefits. Passporting benefits are benefits that once you have them, automatically allow you to collect other benefits, such as council tax benefits.
If you do not get a passporting benefit, you can receive Council Tax Benefit if you (or you and your partner together) have savings of less than £16,000 and your income is low enough.
Main Council Tax Benefit is worked out by checking your income against a set of allowances. The allowances are based on the circumstances of the people in your household (you, your partner and any dependent children). If your joint total income is below these amounts, you get your maximum Council Tax Benefit. As your income rises above the allowances, the amount of Council Tax Benefit goes down. If your income becomes high enough, Council Tax Benefit will stop.
Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance and certain amounts of what you earn are not considered as income and will not be put against your allowances.
Council Tax Benefit is means tested and one of the things they check is your savings. If you have savings of more than £16,000 (at the moment) you will not get any allowance. You can have savings of up to £6,000 without loss of benefit but for every £250 (or £500 if you are on Pension Credit) over £6,000, it will be treated as if it gives you an income of £1 a week.
Until April 2010, the qualifying age for Pension Credit was 60. Between April 2010 and April 2020, the qualifying age will increase to 65.