Council tax support
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 2023/24 council tax support scheme
Who can claim?
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
We sometimes need information about people other than the person who has applied for a benefit or service to work out what that person is entitled to. For example, where a person makes a claim for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support, we need information about other people who live in the same household to work out how much the person will be paid.
We also need certain information and evidence from you to process your claim as quickly as possible.
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).
How do I make a claim?
If you think that you are entitled to council tax support, please complete our online application form:
When is council tax support awarded from?
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 but there is no limit for working age customers.
How much council tax support will I be entitled to?
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.
How is council tax support paid?
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.
What can I do if I think the decision about my council tax support is wrong?
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.
Change of circumstances
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.
Exceptional hardship fund
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: 18 May 2023