Help to pay Council Tax
Last updated: 20/04/2022
You may not have to pay your full Council Tax bill if you are on a low income or are the only adult in the house.
You may get financial help to pay your rent with Housing Benefit, Universal Credit or a discretionary housing payment.
Can I get help to pay my Council Tax?
To get help with Council Tax you must be the person responsible for paying it. This usually means you live in the property the Council Tax is being paid for.
How much help can I get?
How much help you get depends on your circumstances.
People who do not have to pay Council Tax
You will not have to pay Council Tax if you are the only adult in the house and are disregarded for Council Tax.
Disregarded people include:-
- full-time students,
- anyone aged 17 or under,
- young people aged 18 where someone is still getting Child Benefit for them
- and live in carers.
There are other situations where you may be disregarded for Council Tax. Your council will let you know if you fit into one of them when you apply.
The income of other adults living with you could affect the amount of Council Tax you need to pay unless they are also disregarded.
You will get a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill if you are the only adult in the house liable for Council Tax. This does not necessarily mean you are the only adult living in the house but that you are the only adult who is counted. Other adults may be disregarded.
Council Tax Reduction
You may get a reduction on the amount of Council Tax you need to pay based on your income.
How much help you’ll get depends on how much you earn and the earnings of any other adults in the house. You cannot get a reduction if you have savings over £16,000.
You will not have to pay Council Tax if you are getting Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. You will also have a 35% reduction in water and sewage charges.
If you are getting Universal Credit or are working the reduction you get will be based on your income.
Council Tax Reduction if someone in your home is disabled
Your Council Tax may be charged at a lower band if you, or someone else living with you, is severely and permanently disabled and you have had to adapt your home because of this. This means that if your home is in Council Tax Band C your Council Tax bill will be for a property at Council Tax Band B.
Other adults who live with you
Other adults living with you may affect how much help you get to pay Council Tax.
Council Tax Reduction is not affected by any adult who is:-
- 16 or 17 years old
- 18 and you still get Child Benefit for them
- a full-time student or on a government training scheme
The help you get to pay Council Tax may be reduced if there is another adult living with you who is 18 or over, you do not get Child Benefit for them and they are working. However you may get a Second Adult Rebate if their income is low. You cannot get a Council Tax Reduction and a Second Adult Rebate. You will get whichever is more.
For more details on how your Council Tax will change when your children leave school, start work or university see What happens to Council Tax when my child turns 16+.
If your home is in Council Tax Band E - H
There are different rules for working out a Council Tax Reduction if your home is in band E – H called the Council Tax Relief Scheme.
How to apply
You can usually apply for help with Council Tax on your local council’s website or you can contact them and ask for an application form to be sent to you.