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Council Tax Reduction is a means-tested discount, to help people on a low income who pay Council Tax for their home. It replaced Council Tax Benefit on 1 April 2013.

You have to apply to us for Council Tax Reduction, you do not receive it automatically. 

Read our Council Tax Reduction discount scheme 2024 (pdf, 1.6MB).

Steps to take

  1. Check if you are eligible
  2. Find out how much you might be entitled to
  3. Submit a claim
  4. Backdate your claim if needed
  5. Let us know about any change in circumstances
  6. Appeal our decision, if you don't agree with it

Step 1 - Check if you are eligible

You may be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction discount if you are finding it difficult to pay your Council Tax. You must live in the accommodation for which you are making an application and be responsible for paying Council Tax at that property.

If any of the following apply you may not be eligible:

  • you or your partner have capital of £16,000 or more (unless you or your partner receives a pension credit).
  • you are not the person named on the Council Tax bill
  • the property is not your main residence
  • you are not entitled to Council Tax Reduction because of your immigration status in the UK.
  • you are a full-time student in higher education, unless you are also:
    • a lone parent
    • disabled
    • under 19 and following a further (not higher) education course
    • aged 60 or over

A partner of a full time student can claim Council Tax Reduction.

Even if you can't claim Council Tax Reduction, you may still be eligible for Second Adult Rebate.

Step 2 - Find out how much you might be entitled to

The level of discount depends on the amount of Council Tax you pay, the number of people who live with you and your household's income, savings and circumstances.

If you are a pensioner or a vulnerable working-age claimant, we will take this into account when we calculate the reduction you will receive.

  • Any non dependant deduction on your claim is doubled. For more information on non dependents read our other adult information
  • The maximum Council Reduction you can receive is capped at Council Tax Band E. If your property is Band F, G or H then the maximum reduction you can receive is the Band E amount and you will have to pay the difference. View the Council Tax bands and charges

Step 3 - Make a claim

If you think you qualify for this discount, please submit a claim.

Make a claim

Step 4 - Backdate your claim if needed

Sometimes we can backdate your discount for a period before you applied. More about backdating.

Step 5 - Let us know about any changes in circumstances

You must inform us if your circumstances change, as this may affect the amount of discount you are entitled to.

Step 6 - Appeal our decision, if you don't agree with it

Depending on the outcome of your application, you may want to appeal.

Making an appeal

If you disagree with our decision about your Council Tax Reduction discount please get in touch with us straightaway. You must tell us the reasons why you disagree with our decision and we will look at our decision again.

We will write to you confirming we have either changed our decision or the reasons why we feel our decision is correct and cannot be changed.

If you still feel our decision is wrong or we have not sent you a response within 2 months, then you can make a further appeal against our decision. To do this you will need to email the Valuation Tribunal Service giving details of your Council Tax Reduction discount application and why you think the decision is wrong.

When you cannot appeal

You cannot appeal against decisions involving a rule that is laid out in our Council Tax Reduction scheme. For example, some working age applicants can only receive a maximum reduction of 85% of their council tax liability.

An appeal made against a decision that you cannot appeal against is known as out of jurisdiction, and cannot be considered. The Valuation Tribunal will tell you if they consider your appeal to be out of jurisdiction.

The Valuation Tribunal cannot hear appeals about the contents of our scheme, only the way the scheme has been applied to your individual case.

You must continue to pay your Council Tax as shown on your demand notice while awaiting the result of an appeal hearing.

Updated: 15 May 2024

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