What is council tax support?

Council tax support (CTS) is a discount from your council tax bill.

It's there to help people on low incomes and benefits.

Pensionable age people

The government tells us how we must work out the discount for people of pensionable age. This is different to working age people.

You can check your state pension age on the GOV.UK website.

The maximum amount of help you can receive is 100% discount off your council tax bill.

Working age people

In April 2020 the way council tax support is calculated changed if you're of working age.

The scheme is now more generous and easier to apply for.

The table below shows how much discount you'll receive based on the number of people in your household and the total income you have coming in on a weekly basis.

People on Universal Credit would normally have seen the greatest amount of changes to their council tax payments month-on-month. Under the new scheme your discount won’t change unless you have a change in your total income that takes you into a new band.

The income bands are set out in the table below:

Band CTS level Passported Single Couple Family (1 child) Family (2+ children)
1 82.5% Relevant benefit £0 - £74.99 £0 - £117.99 £0 - £186.99 £0 - £254.99
2 72.5% Not applicable £75 - £111.99 £117 - £154.99 £187 - £223.99 £255 - £291.99
3 50% Not applicable £112 - £148.99 £155 - £191.99 £224 - £260.99 £292 - £328.99
4 25% Not applicable £149 - £185.99 £192 - £228.99 £261 - £297.99 £329 - £365.99
5 0% Not applicable £186+ £229+ £298+ £366+

Features of the scheme for working age people

  • The maximum amount of discount to be awarded has increased to 82.5%, meaning that you'll have less to pay towards your council tax than under the previous scheme.
  • The scheme is based on income bands, meaning that small changes to your income will not change the amount of discount you've been awarded.
  • Disability benefits, child benefit and child maintenance are not included in your total income, but we do need to know about them.
  • If you pay child care costs, some or all of the costs will be deducted from your total income meaning you may fall into a lower income band.
  • War pensions are not included in the total of your income.
  • If you have more than £10,000 in capital you're automatically not entitled to CTS.
  • There will no longer be a deduction made for adults other than you and your partner living in your household. This was previously known as a non-dependent deduction.
  • For people who are self-employed we'll calculate your income from either year-end accounts or day books (if you don't have year-end accounts). If you've been trading for more than 12 months and your earnings are less than the national living wage rate at 35 hours, or 16 hours for a single parent, we'll use an assumed income of 35 or 16 hours at the national living wage rate. This is known as the minimum income floor. This will not apply to single parents with children under the age of 5.

Please see our guidance for council tax support for working age applicants for full details of the scheme. To request a copy of this document in an accessible format please contact us.