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Single person discount review

We are carrying out a review of all households within the Cheshire West and Chester area who are claiming single person discount on their Council Tax bill. Over 53,000 Council Tax payers in the area currently receive it.

Civica are performing this review on our behalf. Our aim is to provide residents with clear instructions for completing the forms that should be returned.

Why have I been sent a letter?

Each year we receive lots of applications, we have a duty to ensure that where a discount is awarded there is a genuine entitlement. We are simply verifying that you are still entitled to it.

How do I complete it?

Please fill out and return the form using the envelope provided. If you are the only adult over 18 occupying your property, tick the relevant box, sign and date the form at the bottom and return to the address at the bottom of the letter.

If there is more than one adult living at the property, please provide their name, date of birth, the date on which they moved in and their previous address. If you think they should not be counted for Council Tax purposes, for example if they are an apprentice, have recently left school or are a student at college or university you should include them on the form and tell us why. Please include details of:

  • their date of birth
  • the name of the school, college or university they attend
  • if their term time address is away from home, their address whilst they are studying.

Evidence may be required such as a bank statement to show that you are getting Child Benefit for the person over 18. We may need to contact you again for more information so it is helpful if you provide us with an email address or telephone number. If you need assistance with what evidence you may need to provide you can call 0300 330 1505 or email: counciltaxreview@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk for advice

What happens if I don’t complete it? 

We will assume that your circumstances have changed and you are no longer entitled to the discount. The discount will be removed and a new bill will be sent to you.

What happens if I return the form after the 14 day deadline? 

As long as the form is returned within a reasonable amount of time we will accept it. If the form is very late, you may receive a reminder letter. If you do receive a reminder letter you should complete the form as previously requested.

What should I do if someone is using my address for correspondence only?

Please provide their name and the address at which they actually live so that it can be verified. You can supply more information if you think it may be relevant to assist your claim.

I have already informed you of a change in circumstances. Do I need to complete the form?

Yes, please include all the details of your current situation.

I receive post for the previous occupier, what should I do?

You need to write on the envelope that the person no longer lives at the address and return it to the sender.

A friend stays with me three or four nights a week, does this mean I am no longer entitled to the discount?

If your friend keeps their belongings at your house it may be classed as their main residence and you will no longer be eligible for the discount.  Some of the questions we may ask are:

  • where do they stay for the other nights? If they stay at various addresses but keep their belongings at your property, their main residence would be your address.
  • what address do their doctor/dentist hold for them?  If it is your address, it is their main residence.
  • does your friend work away and stay at your address on their days off?  Your address would be their main residence.

You should provide as much information as possible, if necessary you can use a separate sheet. If you are unsure please phone 0300 330 1505 or email: counciltaxreview@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk for advice. 

Who are Civica?

Civica provides services in revenues and benefits processing work for many local authorities throughout the country. Civica has a dedicated and specialist team of experienced Council Tax officers to carry out discount reviews. The law allows for the contracting out of Council Tax functions.

Why am I being asked to return my information to a Pershore address?

All forms are being handled by Civica at their mailing centre at Pershore. The information you provide will be electronically scanned onto your Council Tax account.

What is data matching?  

Civica matches the Council Tax database with third party sources and specialist validation services.  Addresses of those in receipt of the discount are passed to TransUnion who run a search to match other data sources such as the electoral register or credit agreements. TransUnion then provides Civica with a list of possible adults at a property.

Does it breach Data Protection Legislation?

No, Civica holds the data for the correct purposes for example the levying and collection of a tax. The data is held for as long as required then destroyed. No database is compiled that could be shared with or accessed by other bodies or sources. Further information about TransUnion’s policy can be found on their website.

What credit information do you hold on me?

We do not hold any credit information. If you want to see your credit file, you should contact any of the major credit referencing agencies:

  • TransUnion (formerly CallCredit)
  • Experian
  • Equifax

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