Each local authority is responsible for providing its own council tax reduction scheme, so the scheme could be slightly different depending on where you live.
Some local authorities expect all working age households to contribute something towards their council tax, regardless of income. There are some groups that are protected so you’ll need to check if you fall into one of these groups.
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How is it tested?
The reduction scheme is what we call ‘means tested’ which means that the decision is based on your income and personal circumstances, as well as those living in your household.
Who should I get in touch with?
You can either contact your local authority directly to work out whether you’re entitled to support, or you can speak to our Money Advice Team on 0345 60 20 540 for some more information.
Council Tax Support can normally only be backdated by one month so you should claim as soon as you think you’re entitled to support.
Council tax discounts
You may be able to reduce your council tax bill if you qualify for what’s called a ‘status discount’. These discounts aren’t means tested but are linked to your status e.g. if you’re a single person, student or have certain medical conditions.
Whether you receive an exemption or discount will depend on your individual circumstances and who else lives in the property with you. Below are some of the most common discounts and exemptions.
- Single person discount – you will qualify for a 25% discount if you are the only qualifying adult living in the household.
- Students – you must be a full time student.
- People in detention – if you are in prison or another form of detention.
- Severe mental impairments – if you have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning that is likely to be permanent. This condition needs to be medically certified and you’ll need to be entitled to a qualifying disability benefit.
- Hospital patient – if you’re an inpatient for a long period of time and you can no longer be considered as a resident in your usual home.
If you’d like some more information on council tax discounts you can contact your local council or visit their website for all the details.