Council Tax Help

There are many circumstances in which a person can get a reduction in their council tax and they are best broken down in to 3 categories:

Council Tax Support / Reduction Schemes

Council Tax Support / Reduction Benefit is a scheme for people of working age only. 

Council Tax Support / Reduction schemes can reduce the amount of Council Tax you have to pay based on the income and circumstances of you and your household.  It is a local scheme that will differ from council to council and replaced a national scheme called Council Tax Benefit in 2013.  Council Tax Benefit still exists for people of pension age.  See further down for information on this.

These schemes can change annually and do vary from council to council.  For example, in one council area you could find yourself having to pay a minimum of 10% towards your Council Tax where in another area you might find you have to pay nothing, although your circumstances remain the same. 

To find out what you may be entitled to and how to claim, you need to contact your local council.  You can find your local council via the link opposite.

If you are unsure whether or not you are classed as Working Age, you can use the Pension Age calculator in our links.  If you are of pensionable age, then Council Tax Support / Reduction schemes do not apply to you, you will be eligible for Council Tax Benefit.

Please note: An application for Universal Credit does not include an application for Council Tax Support/Reduction. You must apply for Council Tax Support/Reduction separately from your local council. You should contact them as soon as you have made a claim for Universal Credit, as any delay could mean you miss out on some of your reduction entitlement, which could cost you money.

Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax Benefit is a scheme for people of pension age.  You can see if this affects you by using the pension age calculator. 

Council Tax Benefit is a reduction in your Council Tax based on the income and circumstances of you and your household.  It differs to Council Tax Support / Reduction schemes because it is national and all council’s follow the same rules.  You are unable to claim this help if you and your partner have more than £16,000 in savings or capital between you. 

To find out what you may be entitled to and how to claim, you need to contact your local council.  You can find your local council via the link opposite.

Council Tax Discounts and Exemptions

There are a number of discounts you can get on your Council Tax that are not based on your income.  So, even if you are in full time employment and / or have savings, you can get a reduction.  Some of the main discounts are as follows:

Single Person Discount

If there is only one adult living in the property over the age of 18, then Single Person Discount can be applied for.  This is 25% of your full Council Tax bill.

Disregards

Council Tax is normally based on there being 2 people, over the age of 18.  That is why a Single Person Discount applies if there is only one.  However, there are some adults over the age of 18 that can be “disregarded” for the purposes of Council Tax, meaning there could only be one adult counted and the Single Person Discount applies.  You should be able to find a list of disregarded people on your local councils’ website.

Carer Discount

A discount is applied if a carer is resident in the property, provides care for an average of 35 hours per week or more and is not related to the bill payer.  The person who receives the care must be in receipt of certain Benefits.

Severe Mental Impairment Discount

This is a reduction in your Council Tax bill because someone aged 18 or over who lives with you is mentally disabled and not counted for Council Tax purposes. The Council Tax rules say they must be 'severely mentally impaired', - this includes people who have been diagnosed as suffering with severe and enduring mental health issues including Alzheimer's disease, other forms of dementia and strokes.  Their condition must be confirmed by a doctor.

The mentally disabled person must also qualify for certain Benefits.  Contact your local council for more information.

Student discounts

Students may be entitled to a discount on their council tax if they are undertaking qualifying courses.  There is usually a minimum amount of hours the student must be studying each week to qualify.  For more information, please contact your local council.

Disability reductions

You may be able to get a reduction on your Council Tax bill if you, or an adult or child living with you, is permanently disabled. 

In assessing the application, the Council will need to be satisfied that there is a disabled person resident who needs space for a wheelchair to be used inside the home or a room has been added / adapted to accommodate a person’s disability. 

Any new or adapted room has to be essential or of major importance to the wellbeing of the disabled resident because of the nature and extent of his/her disability.