Council Tax Benefit is money off your Council Tax bill.
How much reduction you get depends on your circumstances – eg your income, if you have children.
You can get other types of help to pay your Council Tax if:
- you live with another adult (who isn’t your partner) – known as the Second Adult Rebate
- your benefits have stopped
You can apply for Council Tax Benefit whether you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
[box type=”warning”] Council Tax Benefit is ending in April 2013. It will be replaced by other schemes. Contact your local council for more details. [/box]
You may get Council Tax Benefit if:
- you pay Council Tax
- you’re on a low income or claiming benefits
- your savings are below a certain level – usually £16,000
You can apply if you own your home, rent, live rent-free, are unemployed or working.
Who isn’t eligible
Usually, you won’t get Council Tax Benefit if:
- your savings are over £16,000 – unless you get Guarantee credit of Pension Credit
- you’re an asylum seeker or sponsored to be in the UK
Second Adult Rebate
You may get Second Adult Rebate if the person you share your home with is:
- 18 or over
- not your partner
- on a low income
- not paying you rent
- not paying Council Tax themselves
You may get the Second Adult Rebate even if you don’t get Council Tax Benefit.
If your circumstances change
Tell your local council if your circumstances change as this can affect how much you get.
For example, a child leaves school, someone moves in or out or someone in your home starts work or volunteering.
What You Could Get
Council Tax Benefit is a reduction (money off) your Council Tax bill.
The most Council Tax Benefit you can get is a 100% reduction. How much get depends on:
- where you live
- your household income – this includes things like savings (over £6,000), pension, your partner’s income
- if your children live with you
- if other adults live with you
Your council will send you a bill showing how much your reduction is and what you have to pay
Second Adult Rebate
Instead of Council Tax Benefit you may qualify for a Second Adult Rebate.
This is a Council Tax Bill reduction based on the circumstances of another adult in your home.
|Second adult circumstances||Council Tax bill reduction|
|On Income Support, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or Pension Credit||25%|
|Weekly income less than £180.00 (before tax)||15%|
|Weekly income between £180.00 and £234.99 (before tax)||7.5%|
You can’t get Council Tax Benefit and the Second Adult Rebate – your council will work out which one gives you the most money.
If your benefits don’t cover the cost of your rent or council tax, you might be able to get extra help from your local council. This is called a ‘discretionary housing payment’.
How to Claim
If you’re claiming other benefits
Contact Jobcentre Plus to claim Council Tax Benefit (including Second Adult Rebate) with your claim for the following benefits:
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Jobseeker’s Allowance
Jobcentre Plus will send details of your claim to your local council.
Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm
If you’re claiming Pension Credit
Contact the Pensions Service to claim Council Tax Benefit (including Second Adult Rebate) with your claim for Pension Credit.
The Pensions Service will send details of your claim to your local council.
Telephone: 0800 99 1234
Textphone: 0800 169 0133
Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm
Saturday, 9am to 1pm
If you’re not claiming other benefits
Get a Council Tax Benefit form from your local council or send them form HCTB1.
What you need to know
You might be able to get your claim backdated – ask your local council.
You can claim in advance, up to 13 weeks (or 17 weeks if you’re 60 or over). for example, because you’re moving.