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Council Tax Reduction

Council Tax Reduction

Check if you're eligible for help paying your Council Tax bill using our information guide

Council Tax Reduction helps people who are on a low income with the costs of the Council Tax bill for their normal home. 

This page explains more about Council Tax Reduction, who is eligible, and how to claim it.

If you would like any more information, you can phone the Age Scotland helpline for free on 0800 12 44 222 or download our Council Tax Reduction information guide.

Want more information on Council Tax Reduction?

Download and read our free guide to Council Tax Reduction today


Who is eligible?

Eligibility for Council Tax Reduction is based on your income. You do not qualify if you have more than £16,000 in savings, but this savings rule does not apply if you receive the guarantee part of Pension Credit.

You can claim it whether you own or rent your home and regardless of whether you are working, unemployed, retired or a carer.

You may also qualify for help if your home is in Council Tax bands E, F, G or H and your income is less than £321 per week (single person) or £479 per week (couples). 

Unsure if you're eligible?

Call the Age Scotland helpline today on 0800 12 44 222 to speak with an adviser. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.


How much can I get?

Council Tax Reduction is calculated based on the level of means tested benefits for someone of your age. The amount you receive depends on:

  • which benefits you receive
  • your income
  • your savings
  • the people who live with you and the income they have
  • how much Council Tax you are liable to pay
  • the Council Tax band for your home

You may qualify for more Council Tax Reduction if you receive Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Carer’s Allowance.

If you do not currently receive Pension Credit, it’s a good idea to get a benefits check to make sure you are not missing out on any money or access to other support, such as help with health costs and Cold Weather Payments. Call the Age Scotland Helpline on 0800 12 44 222 to find out if you qualify.


How to apply

Council Tax Reduction is administered by local councils, so you will need to contact your local council to apply. You can find contact details for your local council by entering your postcode here: https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council 

You will usually need to provide evidence of the income and savings of yourself, your partner and of other people who live with you. If you do not have all the information you need, complete the form as best you can and send the rest of the information within a month.

Council Tax Reduction can sometimes be backdated so it is worth asking about this when you claim. If you are of State Pension age your application can be automatically backdated for 3 months. If you can show good cause why you have not applied earlier, for example if you were in hospital, your claim can be backdated for up to 6 months.


Second adult rebate

Second adult rebate can reduce your council tax bill if you have to pay Council Tax and live with someone other than your partner who has a low income. If you have a partner they must be someone who is disregarded for Council Tax (for example because they are classed as severely mentally impaired).

For you to qualify, the person who lives with you must have an income of less than £273.00 before tax, be over 18, not paying you rent as a sub-tenant or boarder and not paying Council Tax themselves.

To make a claim you need to give the council information about the income of the second adult; if you qualify for both Council Tax Reduction and second adult rebate the council will pay you the one that helps you most.


Other help with Council Tax costs

There are other discounts and exemptions beyond Council Tax Reduction that can help with your Council Tax bill. For example, if you live alone, you are entitled to a 25% discount on your Council Tax bill, regardless of your income and savings. 

Other factors which may reduce your Council Tax bill include:

  • if you or someone you live with has a severe mental impairment, such as dementia
  • if you are a long term hospital or care home resident
  • if you are a live-in carer and the person you care for receives particular disability benefits
  • if your home has adaptations that make it suitable for someone living in it who has a disability, such as an additional bathroom, kitchen or treatment room
  • if you normally live somewhere else

The Age Scotland Helpline

Call our helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for free to speak to an adviser. Our advisers can perform entitlements checks and help you to claim if you're missing out. Lines are open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm. 

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