Local support for Council Tax

Local Support for Council Tax (LSCT) is a discount off your council tax.  It replaced Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013.   If you are also applying for Housing Benefit then we will work out whether you will qualify for LSCT at the same time. 

A new Council Tax Reduction Scheme for North Yorkshire Council

From 1 April 2023 there will be a new single council in North Yorkshire, replacing the seven district and borough councils and the county council. Currently the seven district and borough councils all have slightly different schemes for Council Tax Reduction, and by law there has to be a single scheme covering the whole of the North Yorkshire area.

All eight councils have been working together on proposals for a scheme that is more supportive, with the maximum level of reduction for the people most in need. The aim is that the single scheme will make claiming easy and provide up to 100% support for households on the lowest incomes. 

How much could I get?

LSCT is means tested.  We take into account things like: 

  • your income (and your partner’s if you have one) including earnings, pensions and benefits
  • savings (the capital limit is £16,000 unless you are a pensioner in receipt of guarantee pension credit)
  • if anyone else lives with you
  • personal circumstances

Depending on your circumstances LSCT could give you a maximum discount off your council tax bill this year of:

  • 87.5% if you are of working age
  • 100% if you are of pension age

Armed Forces personnel

Housing Benefit and Local Support for Council Tax.

War pensions are not taken into account as income when calculating Housing Benefit and Local Support for Council Tax. 

Further information about accessing Jobcentre Plus services for current and former armed forces personnel can be found on GOV.UK.

Apply for LSCT >

If you would prefer to receive a paper application form then please contact us on 01723 232372 or email us at benefits.office@scarborough.gov.uk to request a form.

LSCT normally starts from the Monday following receipt of your claim form.  Please do not delay submitting your application.

Can you help me fill in the claim form?

If you need help to complete your paper or online application form you can talk to an advisor on 01723 232372 or email us benefits.office@scarborough.gov.uk with any questions.  

What happens if I qualify for LSCT?

If you qualify for LSCT we will send you a new council tax bill showing the amount of LSCT deducted and the new balance payable. 

We no longer issue LSCT entitlement letters

If you do not qualify for LSCT when you make a new claim we will send you a notification letter showing you how we have worked this out.  You will not receive a notification letter if you qualify or when we action any change in your circumstances, you will only receive a revised council tax bill.

If at any time you would like us to explain your LSCT award then please contact us in person, by telephone, online, in writing or by email.  

Changes in entitlement to a discount

We must be informed within 21 days of any change which may affect the discount - if not, a penalty of up to £70 could be incurred. If you haven't previously told us about a change it will be backdated and you will have to make payment of any arrears promptly

Changes in circumstances that may affect your LSCT

If you claim LSCT (and/or Housing Benefit) and there has been a change in your circumstances you must inform us.

A change in circumstances may include:

  • Moving house
  • Starting or finishing work
  • Having a baby
  • Receiving or no-longer receiving a state benefit
  • Getting married
  • Changes to your household
  • Changes in savings
  • A child finishing school
  • A temporary absence from your home

From 1 April 2021 we have introduced a tolerance level of £2.00 per week.  If your income goes up or down resulting in a weekly increase or decrease in Local Support for Council Tax of £2.00 or less, no change will be made to your bill.
This will reduce the number of bills and payment changes for people whose income changes by small amounts each month.

If you have several changes which collectively are significant enough to result in a change to your award, we'll increase or reduce your Local Support for Council Tax accordingly and send you an amended bill.  

Report a change in circumstances >

Downward adjustments (reversals) in LSCT awards

If your LSCT award is reduced due to a change in your circumstances, then you will receive an increased council tax bill setting out your new instalments for payment.  

If your LSCT award is reduced due to our error and you could not reasonably be expected to know that you were receiving too much LSCT, then we will consider not recovering the extra LSCT awarded depending on the circumstances of your case.

Contact us

If you need to get in touch about Local Support for Council Tax, please use our dedicated online form. 

Contact us (Benefits) >

If at any time you would like us to explain your LSCT award then please contact us in person, by telephone, online, in writing or by email.  

Additional help

If you feel that you would benefit from or require independent professional advice then there is a local office of the Scarborough and District Citizens Advice.