Council tax support is a local scheme paid by the council to help certain groups of people pay their council tax.
- View details of our council tax support scheme 2017/18 (PDF, 1.1MB)
- View feedback on our 2016 consultation on changes to the council tax support scheme (PDF, 319KB)
Anyone who has to pay council tax can claim. However council tax support is there to help people on low income to pay their council tax bill. It is assessed by looking at your:
- any other adults living with you
- personal circumstances
Please note you will not be entitled to council tax support if you have savings of over £16,000 (unless you are in receipt of Guaranteed Pension Credit).
If you think that you are entitled to council tax support, download and complete an application form and return it to us with all relevant documentation.
If you qualify for council tax support it will be awarded from the Monday following the date you first contact the council for an application form, providing the form is returned within one month of the date it is issued to you. Otherwise council tax support will be paid from the Monday after the form is received by the council.
If you are in receipt of income support, jobseeker's allowance (income based) or employment and support allowance (income related) or guaranteed pension credit and you make a claim for council tax support within one month of the date you claim any of these benefits, you will be awarded council tax support from the date this entitlement starts or the date your council tax liability starts.
You can request backdated support if there is a good reason why you did not claim earlier. You must be able to show continuous good cause from the date you are requesting that support is paid from to the date that your claim is made. You must state your reasons on the claim form or enclose a covering letter.
Backdating is limited to three months for pensioners and one month for working age customers.
For a quick estimate use our online benefits calculator.
You will need to complete a benefit application form before a full assessment can be done.
If you are awarded this support, normally the amount you are entitled to will be used to reduce your council tax bill. However, if you have paid your council tax in full for the year you will be entitled to repayment of the amount of support.
If you have received a decision about council tax support and you think the decision is wrong, you can ask us to explain it, or request a written statement of reasons.
If you still think it is wrong after we have explained it to you, you must write to us giving the reasons why you think the decision is wrong. We will then write to you to let you know if the decision has been changed or not. If you still think our decision is wrong you have two months to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. The Valuation Tribunal prefer you to do this online at:
If we fail to respond to your original letter of dispute within two months of receipt then you have the right to appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal.
Once you have claimed council tax support you are under a duty to inform the benefits team within 21 days of any changes in your income and circumstances and the income and circumstances of anyone else who lives with you. If you move to a new address you must inform the benefits team immediately. You may need to make a fresh claim for council tax support.
You may lose any increase in support that may be due to you if you do not tell us about changes of circumstances quickly.
If you need assistance with paying your council tax, an exceptional hardship fund (EHF) is available.
You must make a claim for an exceptional hardship fund award by submitting an application to our benefits department.
Last updated: 09 February 2017