If you have to pay council tax and you are on a low income, you could get Council Tax Support (CTS).
The rules for CTS depend on if you are either:
- the age for state pension credit
- of working age
We will work out your CTS using a scheme decided by the government. CTS can cover the whole of your council tax bill, depending on your income and household circumstances.
You will not get CTS if you or any partner have more than £16,000 in capital or savings (unless you get Pension Guarantee Credit).
People of working age
When working out CTS for a person of working age, we place them into an income band according to their assessed weekly income. Pension age customers are not affected by these.
The amount of support payable will be a percentage of your total council tax liability after any discounts. The 25% Single Person Discount is an example of such a discount.
An award is based on the applicant and any partner's assessed income. Be aware that the weekly income we use is not the same as with other benefits. You can find information about the income we exclude further down this page.
The table below shows the current income bands and the amount of support a person may be entitled to.
The maximum council tax support you can receive is 80% of your council tax liability. Any non-dependant deduction is made after the income band percentage is applied.
|0||Income band||Weekly income range||Maximum CTS support|
|1||1||Vulnerable group and with income £440 or less||80%|
|2||2||£0 to £80 or in receipt of a qualifying benefit||75%|
|3||3||£80.01 to £140||70%|
|4||4||£140.01 to £200||60%|
|5||5||£200.01 to £260||50%|
|6||6||£260.01 to £320||40%|
|7||7||£320.01 to £380||30%|
|8||8||£380.01 to £440||20%|
You will be placed in band 1 if both of the following apply:
- you or any partner has an assessed weekly income of £440 or less
- either of you are in receipt of an income that triggers an award of
- Disability Premium
- Enhanced Disability Premium
- Severe Disability Premium
The types of income that triggers one of the above premiums are:
- Disability Living Allowance
- Personal Independence Payment
- Support component of Employment and Support Allowance
- Severe Disablement Allowance
If you or any partner is in receipt of any of the qualifying benefits below, you will be place in band 2:
- Income Support
- Income related Employment and Support Allowance
- income-based Job Seekers Allowance
If you or any partner is also in receipt of child maintenance, that income will be considered as weekly assessed income. The household will then be placed in the appropriate income band.
Earned income and other income or benefits
The incomes below are considered assessed income:
- earned income
- self-employed income
- any other income that a customer or their partner receive
These are calculated as a weekly figure. There are certain types of income that are excluded or disregarded. See income we exclude further down this page.
If you have been self-employed for more than 1 year, a minimum income floor is applied to your claim. This is the lowest weekly amount we expect people will earn.
If your net profit from self-employment is under these amounts, then the minimum income floor will be applied. It is based on the national living wage and will be considered as weekly assessed income.
For lone parents this is based on working 16 hours per week, making the income floor £152 per week between April 2022 and March 2023.
For single people and couples this is based on working 24 hours per week, making the income floor £228 per week between April 2022 and March 2023.
Savings, investments and property that you or your any have, or have access to, is treated as capital. This does not include the home you live in. You cannot claim council tax support if you have capital of £16,000 or more.
If you have capital between £6,000 and £16,000, a tariff will be added to your other weekly income. This will be £1 will be for every £250 you have in excess of £6,000.
Income we exclude
Sources of income we exclude are:
- Child benefit
- Disability living allowance (care and mobility)
- Personal Independence Payment (daily living and mobility)
- Carers Allowance
- the housing element of Universal Credit
- earnings disregards
- £30 where the applicant is a lone parent
- £15 for a couple
- £10 for a single applicant
Non dependant income
If you have a non-dependant adult over the age of 18 living with you, we may need to reduce the amount of council tax support. This will be considered after all weekly assessed income has been calculated.
For non-dependants who are not working, a deduction of £4.20 per week will be made.
For non-dependants who are working over 16 hours per week, the following deductions will be made (based on their gross weekly income):
- £4.20 per week if the gross weekly income is less than £224 per week
- £8.55 per week if the gross weekly income is between £224 but less than £389 per week
- £10.70 per week if the gross weekly income is between £389 but less than £484 per week
- £12.85 per week if the gross weekly income is £484 or over
A deduction will not apply for non-dependents who are full time students or in receipt of:
- Pension Credit
- Income Support
- income-based Jobseekers Allowance
- income related Employment and Support Allowance
- Universal Credit and is not working
A non-dependent deduction will not apply if a customer or their partner receives:
- Disability Living Allowance care component
- Personal Independence Payment Daily Living component
- Attendance Allowance
Manner of claims
Council tax support must be applied for and is not automatically awarded. See making a council tax support claim for more information.
Income based Council Tax Support is not the same as council tax discounts that you may be entitled to. See types council tax support for discounts that you may be entitled to.
Council tax support cannot normally be backdated so it is important that you return your claim form to us straightaway.
If you want to back date your claim, you will have to show ‘continuous good cause’ about why you did not claim earlier. The maximum amount of time we can consider backdating your council tax support claim is up to 3 months.
For more information, see backdating benefit claims.
Contact the Welfare and Housing Service for help with budgeting, financial advice and advice on how changes affect your council tax.