Frequently Asked Questions

Health, well-being and care

If you have been in receipt of qualifying benefits for at least 26 weeks and inform the Council within four weeks of the date that you start work, you may be entitled to an additional four weeks housing benefit. A qualifying benefit is Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Support, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefit and Severe Disablement Allowance. This is called 'Housing Benefit Run On' or 'Extended Payment'. For further information please contact the Benefit Section.

Payment can be accepted by cash - only at the main Council Offices and by cheque - at our Customer Service Centre or by post. Payment can be made by card either online using our payment web page or over the telephone on Leicester (0116) 257 2850. You will need your invoice reference number when making a payment.

If your house has been extended or changed prior to you buying it, but since it was originally valued and banded, it will only be re-valued and issued with a new band when a material change takes place. The transfer of ownership of a property is classed as a material change.

Council tax property banding is decided by the Valuation Office - a separate Government body. If you disagree with your band or would like to query it, please contact the Valuation Office direct on Leicester 0300 050 1501. Further details can be found on their website.

You have to be 18 years old to buy fireworks.

If you are unhappy with a decision you can ask us for an explanation and a more detailed breakdown of how your claim has been assessed. This is called a 'statement of reasons'.
If, after receiving a statement of reasons, you want the decision to be looked at again you can ask for it to be reviewed by another benefit officer, not the one who made the original decision. This is called a 'reconsideration'.
If you are still unhappy, you can formally appeal against the decision which will mean it is considered by an independent tribunal organised by the Appeals Service, who are independent of the Council.

The power to do this is at the discretion of the Council and the current policy at OWBC is not to offer such a discount. This decision was taken as it was felt that to allow a discount would disadvantage those who did not have the means to pay in full rather than by instalments, and the cost of the discount would have to be met by all Council Tax payers as it would not be covered by the increase in cash flow.

In order to establish who will be responsible for undertaking the funeral arrangements, the council may undertake a full search of the premises where the deceased person lived. If there is no property to search, for example where the death occurs in a care or nursing home, any personal papers will be carefully examined to discover if there are next of kin to arrange the funeral.

No, you cannot get interest on overpaid Council Tax. There is no provision in law to allow it so it would be illegal for the council to pay it.

If the relative receives certain benefits, they may be entitled to a one-off payment towards the cost of a funeral. For more information contact your local Jobcentre Plus office (see related links) or Social Security office.

No, if you stop paying, we are obliged to commence recovery action against you. Your liability to pay Council Tax is not affected by provision of local authority services.

You should contact the local authority responsible for providing the service and say why you are unhappy. You can pursue the matter through the Council’s complaints procedure if necessary, and ultimately involve your local Councillor and/or the Ombudsman as appropriate.

Any amount of overpaid housing benefit will normally be recovered from the claimant or, in certain circumstances, the landlord.
Any amount of overpaid council tax benefit will normally be added back on to your Council Tax liability.
If the overpayment is the result of an error on the part of the Council, the Department for Work and Pensions or any other relevant official organisation, and the person receiving the housing and council tax benefit couldn't have reasonably been expected to know that they were receiving too much benefit, then it will not usually be recoverable.
If the Council believes that you are liable to repay the overpaid housing and council tax benefit you will be informed in writing of the amount of overpayment and the period that it relates to.

Possibly, but you must provide the Council with all of the reasons why your entitlement should start from a date earlier than the date you submitted your benefit application form. The Council will only be able to agree to backdate your claim if you can demonstrate good cause why you did not apply earlier and that this existed for the whole of the period that you are seeking backdated benefit to be paid. Reasons such as 'I did not know about the scheme' or 'I did not have time to apply' are not normally considered to demonstrate good cause. Backdated benefit entitlement cannot exceed a period of 6 months for a claimant or partner who are under 60 and cannot exceed a period of 3 months for a claimant or partner who are 60 or over from the date of the claim.

Relatives will need to apply to the Probate Office for a Grant of Probate and Letters of Administration if they wish to access the remainder of the estate. Find out more by contacting the Probate Office and the Treasury Solicitor. Their details can be found at the related links section.

Yes. The Council Tax Regulations state that payment is still due irrespective of any appeal or benefit claim that may be outstanding. This is because there are separate legal avenues for pursuing different outstanding matters.

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