Help with Council Tax
Council Tax is what you pay your local authority to cover the cost of services in your area.
How much you pay depends on:
- where you live
- your income, savings and any benefits you claim
- your household income
- who you live with
You may be able to get help with your Council Tax through a discount or reduction scheme. These schemes are different for every council in England and Wales.
The easiest way to find out if you are eligible for help with your Council Tax is to contact your local authority.
You will need:
- your address
- National Insurance number
- your household income (bank accounts, cash, investments)
- any properties you own and income you make from them
- any benefits you claim
- who you live with and their personal situation
Use the benefits calculator to find out what you can claim
Reduction and discount schemes
There are 3 main ways to get a discount or reduction on your Council Tax:
Single Person Discount
If you are the only adult in your home or live with adults who are exempt, you may qualify for 25% off your Council Tax.
If you live with another adult on a low income who is not your partner, you can apply for a Second Adult Rebate. How much you get off your bill will depend on their income.
Disability Reduction Scheme
This scheme reduces your Council Tax by a band if you or someone you live with is permanently disabled. This scheme looks at your home (sometimes called a 'dwelling'). You may qualify if you have:
- enough space to use a wheelchair indoors
- a room that is used by the disabled person, other than the bathroom or kitchen
- an extra bathroom or kitchen needed by the disabled person
Council Tax Reduction
This is a means-tested scheme, which takes into account your income, savings and any benefits you claim. You can apply if you are on a low income or claiming one of the following:
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
Claiming Universal Credit does not automatically entitle you to help with your Council Tax.
Eligibility varies for every council in England and Wales.
Check with your local authority (GOV.UK)
Exemption from council tax
Some people do not need to pay Council Tax, such as:
Applying for help with Council Tax
You can apply for help with your Council Tax through your local authority website, by phone or by paper application.
Check with the council what evidence you need to support your claim. Usually, it's:
- proof of identity, such as a passport or driving licence
- proof of address, such as a recent gas, electricity or water bill
- bank statements
- proof of savings
Your local authority may ask for other relevant information, such as details of other people you live with and proof of other benefits. They will notify you by post about your claim.
Keep a record
It's a good idea to keep a copy of your application and the evidence you supplied.
You should also ask your local authority for a receipt or confirmation that they received your evidence.
Last reviewed by Scope on: 14/11/2019
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