What is Council Tax Support?

Each council has its own Council Tax Support scheme (also called Council Tax Reduction) to help people on a low income. You’ll need to contact your local council to ask about the scheme in your area. You can apply for support whether you rent or own your home.

You can also ask them who is responsible for paying the Council Tax on your home if you’re not sure.

How much is it worth?

If you receive Guarantee Pension Credit, you may get your Council Tax paid in full. If not, you may still get some help if you’re on a low income, and you and your partner have savings and investments of less than £16,000 between you. How much help you’ll get depends on:

  • your household income and your savings or investments
  • who you live with
  • which benefits you receive
  • whether you've reached State Pension age
  • how much Council Tax you pay
  • how the scheme works in your area.

The amount you can get may be higher if you, or someone living with you, have a disability or caring responsibilities.

See our factsheet Council Tax Support and Housing Benefit for more information.

What else could I get?

There are other ways you may be able to reduce your Council Tax bill.

  • If you live alone, you can get a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill. You could still get this even if you live with other people, as not everyone is counted for Council Tax purposes. This includes full-time students, some carers and people with a severe mental impairment - for example, dementia, a brain injury, a health condition such as Parkinson's or a serious mental health condition. If everyone living in your home, including you, is disregarded, you can get a 50% discount.
  • If your home has been adapted or is larger than it would otherwise be because someone with a disability lives there, you could get a discount through the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme. The council can reduce your Council Tax bill to the band below, or by one sixth if your home is in the lowest band. To qualify, you need to have made changes to your house to accommodate the disabled person's needs: for example, having an extra kitchen or bathroom because the disabled person needs this, or extra space to use a wheelchair indoors. There's no set test to determine whether you qualify. Your council may ask for supporting evidence, such as a letter from your GP, and they may want to visit your home.
  • If your home is empty, you may not have to pay Council Tax. This could be because you’ve moved into a care home, gone into hospital or gone to live with a relative or friend so they can look after you or you can care for them. Contact your local council to find out if your property is exempt.
  • If you live with someone on a low income who isn’t your partner, you may qualify for a discount on your bill called a Second Adult Rebate if this is available in your area. You can’t get this at the same time as Council Tax Support but your local council should automatically consider whether you’d be better off getting a Second Adult Rebate. Depending on your income, your Council Tax bill could be reduced by 7.5%, 15% or 25%.

Challenging decisions

If you disagree with any of the council’s decisions about your Council Tax, write to them to say why. They should respond within two months. If you’re not happy with the response, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for England, as long as it's within four months of first writing to your council.

If you need help with your appeal, contact your local Age UK or Citizens Advice.

Next steps

If you need more information about Council Tax discounts and exemptions, you should get in touch with your local council. Find their contact details on Gov.uk.

If you’re unsure whether you qualify for a discount, such as the Disabled Band Reduction Scheme, call our Helpline on 0800 319 6789 for more advice.

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