Some older people may be paying too much council tax

In both Coventry and Birmingham people of working age including those on means-tested benefits are expected to make a contribution towards their council tax.

  • In Birmingham they have been expected to pay 20% and contributions started from 1st April 2013.
  • In Coventry they have been expected to pay 15% since 1st April 2016

We have now become aware that there are issues about how councils are defining working age. The law says that this is someone who is not at Pension Credit age and Pension Credit age is the age at which a woman can claim her state pension. There is a risk that men may not be aware that they have reached this age as it will be earlier than the age at which they can claim their state pension.


Example

Steve lives in Coventry and is in receipt of Income related Employment and Support Allowance. He reached Pension Credit age in 2014 before the introduction of the 15% contribution in Coventry. However he did not claim his Pension Credit because he did not know he was at this age. In April 2016 he started to be charged 15% of his Council Tax because the council wrongly only identified those who were at Pension Credit age by receipt of Pension Credit or State Pension and he got neither. We have pointed out the mistake and Coventry Council have agreed to pay back  the sum he was incorrectly charged. They have also agreed to check if any other people were wrongly charged.


Advisers know it is not unusual for people to fail to claim their Pension Credit as soon as they are entitled to it. There could be many more people in Steve’s position who are now due a refund.

To find out if you have reached pension credit age see the chart below

Date of birth Date reached Pension Credit age
6.9.1951 -5.10.1951 6.3.2013
6.10.1951-5.11.1951 6.5.2013
6.11.1951 – 5.12.1951 6.7.2013
6.12.1951 – 5.1.1952 6.9.2013
6.1.1952 – 5.2.1952 6.11.2013
6.2.1952 – 5.3.1952 6.1.2014
6.3.1952 – 5.4.1952 6.3.2014
6.4.1952 – 5.5.1952 6.5.2014
6.5.1952 – 5.6.1952 6.7.2014
6.6.1952 – 5.7.1952 6.9.2014
6.7.1952 – 5.8.1952 6.11.2014
6.8.1952 – 5.9.1952 6.1.2015
6.9.1952 – 5.10.1952 6.3.2015
6.10.1952 – 5.11.1952 6.5.2015
6.11.1952 – 5.12.1952 6.7.2015
6.12.1952 – 5.1.1953 6.9.2015
6.1.1953 – 5.2.1953 6.11.2015
6.2.1953 – 5.3.1953 6.1.2016
6.3.1953 – 5.4.1953 6.3.2016
6.4.1953- 5.5.1953 6.7.2016
6.5.1953 – 5.6.1953 6.11.2016
6.6.1953 – 5.7.1953 6.3.2017
6.7.1953 – 5.8.1953 6.7.2017
6.8.1953 – 5.9.1953 6.11.2017
6.9.1953 – 5.10.1953 6.3.2018
6.10.1953 – 5.11.1953 6.7.2018
6.11.1953 – 5.12.1953 6.11.2018

If you think that you have been wrongly treated as of working age after you reached the pension ages shown above you should ask your local council to pay you back what they owe you. If you have any problems with this you should contact your local advice agency for help.

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