Where to claim Council Tax Support from
You can only claim Council Tax Support (CTS) from Merton Benefits Service. You cannot claim CTS directly through the Department for Work and Pensions. If you claim HB at the same time as another DWP benefit they will let us know but you must apply for CTS using our online claim form for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
The online form (at the top of this page) is quicker and easier to complete and saves time. Generally, online claims get assessed more quickly as:
- they are sent to us straightaway rather than waiting for a paper form to be delivered;
- we will be able to tell you what proof is needed to support your claim rather than waiting for us to call you or write to you and tell you;
- we will also confirm receipt of the claim if you give us an email address so you are confident that your claim has been made.
You can also use this form to claim
Second Adult Reduction.
If you are unable to use the online claim form:
- download and print our CTS claim form or
- ask for a claim form at Merton Link reception, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX; or
- phone us on 020 8274 4903 or email Housing.Benefits@merton.gov.uk and ask us to post you a claim form;
Your Council Tax Support claim must be either:
- submitted electronically to us at Merton Benefits Service from an online claim; or
- in person by using our drop off box facility at Merton Benefits Service, ground floor Merton Link, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX; or
- posting it to Merton Benefits Service, PO Box 610, Morden, SM4 5ZT.
We will need proof to support your claim. You can upload proof of the change on the on-line form when you are filling in your new claim. You can also give us electronic images of your documents using our upload form.
See Proof needed to support claims for more details.
Changes to claims made through the DWP or Pension Service
The DWP and The Pension Service can only signpost you to us to claim for help with your Council Tax. CTS is a local scheme not a national benefit. So use the online form or fill in a paper form using one of the other methods described above.
Housing Benefit: You can continue to claim Housing Benefit in the same way by phone to the DWP or The Pension Service. They will let us know you have done this at the same time they tell us about your entitlement to DWP benefits. If you have not yet claimed CTS by the time they tell us, we will send you a short CTS claim form if you are awarded any of the following:
- Income Support
- Income based Jobseeker's Allowance
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Universal Credit
If you do not get any of these, you will need to complete a full CTS claim form.
Date of claim for Council Tax Support
The general rules are as follows:
- for people of working age your CTS claim will be treated as made on the day we receive it
- for people who are of State Pension Credit age, your CTS claim will be treated as made up to three months earlier than the date we receive it.
If you have just become liable for Council Tax make sure you claim CTS within one month of becoming liable.
If you claimed Housing Benefit by phone to the Department for Work and Pensions or The Pension Service, your date of claim will be the date your were entitled to:
Income Support, income based Jobseeker's Allowance, income related Employment and Support Allowance or Guaranteed element of Pension Credit or Universal Credit, if
- we receive their notification within one month of your claim for the above national benefits and
- you also make an online claim or return our short CTS claim form with one month of being invited to do so.
If you have trouble making an online claim or returning the short CTS form with one month please contact us to tell you need a little more time. Otherwise your date of claim will only be treated as made on the date your late short CTS claim form was received. So you could lose out on Council Tax Support.
Backdating rules for working age and pensioners
Working age people can request backdated CTS for a period of up to six months. But you have to prove to us good cause for not claiming earlier. This has been kept as six months from 1st April 2016, even though the Housing Benefit time limit has been reduced to one month.
Pensioners of State Pension Credit age get automatically three months backdated, without the need to show good cause for not claiming earlier.
Discretionary Council Tax Reduction
Our Local CTS scheme includes a provision for us to consider a discretionary Council Tax Reduction. This could be in exceptional cases where you have some exceptional circumstances that your main CTS award or Second Adult Reduction is still insufficient to cover your Council Tax liability. Even if you did not qualify for CTS you can apply, but wait until you have had your CTS claim decided first.
If you still feel there is a genuine need, complete the form below.