Council tax reduction scheme

Council tax reduction gives you a discount on your council tax bill if you are on a low income.

The working age council tax reduction scheme is an income-banded system based on your household size and weekly income. It will give you a percentage reduction on your council tax if you meet the criteria. If you are eligible for support, you could see a discount on your council tax bill of between 25 per cent and 100 per cent, depending on how you fit the criteria.

If you are of pensionable age, the government has set rules that are used to calculate the amount of council tax reduction you will get.

Who can claim council tax reduction?

Council tax reduction is available to single people, families, couples, working people, retired people, the unemployed and anyone on a low income 

You can apply for council tax reduction even if you own your house. However, you will not qualify if you are working age and have savings of £6,000 or more. Or if you are of pensionable age and have savings over £16,000 unless you receive guaranteed pension credit.

You can use a benefits calculator to find out what you can claim.

The working age scheme criteria 

Household The level of discount will be based on a comparison of household size and weekly income of you and your partner (if you have one). Where a household includes more than two children the income bands do not increase.
Non-dependants Any non-dependants in the household are ignored for the purposes of this scheme. 
Maximum support Up to 100 per cent of council tax payable. Everyone of working age who is in receipt of Income Support, Job Seekers (income based) or Employment Support Allowance (income related) will not pay anything on their bill.
Capital You must have capital below £6,000, including stocks and shares.
Earnings Net earnings are used in the assessment. Net earned income is derived from the gross wage less tax, national insurance and 50 per cent of any pension contributions.
Self-employment If you are self-employed, net profit of the business will be considered and no minimum income floor will be applied.
Disregarded income We will disregard income from Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independent payments, Carers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance (Support Component), child benefit and child maintenance.
Income disregards

We will apply:

  • an earnings disregard of £50 per week for couples or lone parents and £25 per week for single people if you are working 
  • a disability income disregard of £40 per week, per claim, where the claim includes a disability benefit
  • Universal Credit Housing element - the amount of Universal Credit which covers housing costs is fully disregarded

2024/25 banded scheme household income amounts for working age applicants  

The table below shows the amount of discount that will be applied to your council tax account.

Council tax reduction award level People on Income Support, Job Seekers (income based) or Employment Support Allowance (income related) Single

Per week


Per week

Family with one child

Per week

Family with two or more children

Per week

100% Yes £0 to £142 £0 to £196 £0 to £258 £0 to £319
75% No £142.01 to £189 £196.01 to £244  £258.01 to £307 £319.01 to £367
50% No £189.01 to £248 £244.01 to £307 £307.01 to £355 £367.01 to £416
25% No £248.01 to £312 £307.01 to £367 £355.01 to £416 £416.01 to £465
0% No £312.01 and over £367.01 and over £416.01 and over £465.01 and over

Apply for council tax reduction

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and you have told the Department for Work and Pensions that you wish to claim help with your council tax, your details will be supplied directly to us.

Where you share your tenancy with other people (who are not your partner) you will each need to make an application for council tax reduction.

Apply for council tax reduction

Council tax reduction backdated claims

If you are of working age, you could be entitled to up to 12 months of backdated council tax reduction. You will need to tell us the period you want your claim backdated for.

If you are a pensioner, we will automatically backdate your claim for up to three months if you meet the qualifying criteria.

How council tax reduction is paid

Council tax reduction is credited directly to your council tax account. An adjusted bill showing the revised balance will be sent shortly afterwards.

Council tax reduction renewal and reporting changes to us

You do not have to renew your claim for council tax reduction each year as this is paid for as long as you are entitled to it.

We do need to know if you have any changes in income or benefits, or you change your address to ensure you are receiving the right amount of discount.

Report a change in circumstances or address

Council tax reduction appeals

If you think our decision about your council tax reduction is wrong, contact us first and ask us to look at the decision again. You can write to us at any point to say you disagree with a council tax reduction decision. We must reply to you within two months.

If we decide to change how much you are awarded, we will write to you. If we cannot alter our decision, we will tell you why and inform you of your right of appeal to the Valuation Tribunal.

If you have not heard from us and it is two months since you wrote to us, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service. But you must contact them within four months of when you first wrote to us.

You can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service about:

  • whether you are entitled to council tax reduction 
  • how much council tax reduction we have awarded you under our scheme

You cannot appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service about the rules we have put in our scheme.

How to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service

You can appeal online or download a form on the Valuation Tribunal Service website to fill in and send back to them.

 Read the council tax reduction scheme policy here (pdf / 951 KB)

Council tax reduction exceptional hardship fund

We have an exceptional hardship fund. If you believe that a change to your council tax reduction has placed you in severe financial hardship and you cannot pay your council tax bill, you can apply to this fund.

This fund is discretionary and every claim is assessed upon the evidence you give us. The fund is designed to help you pay your council tax bill in the short-term and allow you to take action to make these payments in the future. If successful, the payment will be made straight to your council tax account.

There’s a limit to this fund and there is no guarantee that you will receive aid.

 Read the exceptional hardship policy here (pdf / 272 KB).