Apply for Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support is a scheme to reduce council tax bills for people on a low income. You can apply whether you are in or out of work. Homeowners can also get this help, regardless of the the value of your home.
To qualify for Council Tax Support:
- you must be liable for council tax
- your income must be low enough to satisfy the means test
- your savings must not exceed £16,000 (unless you are also receiving the guarantee element of Pension Credit). Savings over £6,000 (or £10,000 for pensioners) will affect how much you get.
Your award is generally credited directly to your council tax bill.
How much you get
Council Tax Support covers a maximum of 85 per cent of the council tax bill for people of working age. There are different rules for pensioners.
How much you get depends on your income, savings and circumstances.
You will receive maximum help if you are on one of the following benefits:
- Income Support
- Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
- Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit Guarantee
Your Council Tax Support may be reduced if other adults live with you at home. If you are entitled to maximum help, you will have to pay the shortfall from your income.
Council Tax Support covers up to 100 per cent of the council tax charge for people who have reached pension age, but how much you can get depends on your circumstances. Note that the 85% maximum limit will apply if you are receiving a working-age benefit, such as Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance.
How to claim
Claims must usually be made online. Claims can be backdated for up to six months for people of working age, or up to three months for people who have reached pension age. You will have to request this and demonstrate that you had a good reason for claiming late.
If you receive Universal Credit you have to make a separate claim for Council Tax Support. Remember to claim within one month to ensure that you don’t miss out.
Other help with council tax
Even if you cannot get Council Tax Support, you could qualify for a council tax discount or exemption, for example if you live alone, or if you home has been adapted to meet the needs of a disabled person. You may also qualify for a Second Adult Rebate if you share your home with another adult (not your partner) who cannot pay towards the council tax. Other ways to reduce your council tax bill.