Support with council tax

Council tax support schemes from local authorities provide support for people on low income to pay their council tax. Find out more.

Council tax and dementia
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What are Council tax support schemes?

Each local authority has to run a Council tax support scheme (also sometimes called a Council tax reduction scheme). This provides support for people on a low income to pay their council tax. The scheme will vary from one local authority to another for people of working age.

The financial support available to help with paying council tax is ‘means-tested’. This means that, your income and savings can affect your eligibility or the amount you get.

It can also depend on a range of other factors, including:

  • which benefits the person receives
  • the age of the people living in the property
  • who lives with them.

Depending on the local authority, people can get up to 100 per cent of their council tax supported in this way, if their income is low enough. This is whether they are of state pension age or working age.

Many older people, especially owner-occupiers, don’t claim this support and are missing out on what can be a large amount of help.

More support may be available if someone receives a disability benefit or carer’s benefit. The local council should offer information and advice about the local council tax support scheme and the availability of Discretionary housing payments to help people who claim housing benefit or Universal credit.

Whatever local Council tax support scheme is in place, the discounts, disregards and exemptions mentioned will be available and are not means-tested.

Council tax support and Universal credit

Universal credit replaces many benefits for anyone who is below pension age. If you are part of a couple, and not already getting support with council tax, you are treated as a working-age couple if one of you is below pension age. For more information see Benefits for people affected by dementia.

Council tax support is not part of the Universal credit system. Whether or not you are entitled to Universal credit or Pension credit, you will still need to contact your local authority to make a separate claim for support with council tax.

Don’t wait until your Universal credit or Pension credit has been awarded to do this, because they may not backdate your council tax support.

Could you be entitled to benefits?

As a person living with dementia or a carer, you may be entitled to certain benefits.  

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