Can I get help with my council tax bill?

Council Tax Support gives financial help to low-income households to help them pay their council tax bill.

It goes by several names, including Council Tax Benefit and Council Tax Reduction, though we refer to it as Council Tax Support (CTS). 

Overview of Council Tax Support

Council Tax Support helps people who are unemployed or on a low-income to pay their council tax bill.

The amount of money you get depends on several factors:

  • If you’re working age or Pension Credit qualifying age (PCQA) – check your PCQA age here 
  • How much your council tax is
  • Your household income and circumstances
  • Whether other people live with you
How much might I get?

If you are working age, the maximum you can receive is up to 70% of your yearly council tax. How much that yearly charge is depends on which band your house is in.

Council Tax Support is restricted to the equivalent of a property band D charge. This means that if your property is in band E, F, G or H, the maximum amount you can receive will be based on 70% of a band D property.

You will not qualify for this benefit if you have savings or capital over £6,000.

What happens if you reach pension age?

If you are at Pension Credit qualifying age (PCQA), the maximum amount you can receive is up to 100% of your yearly council tax.

If you or your partner are pension age and receive one of the following benefits, you will be treated as working age and have to pay at least 30% of your charge:

You will not qualify for any council tax reduction if you have savings or capital over £16,000.

What is a Second Adult Rebate?

The Second Adult Rebate (SAR) is when you’re given part of your council tax money back because you live with another person on a low income or is already on certain benefits.

You can claim SAR if you don’t get the 25% single person discount because at least one other adult lives with you. The other adult(s) but be over 18 years and cannot be your partner or a tenant or border who is paying you rent.

It is not possible to get both Council Tax Support and SAR. If you qualify for both, you will be rewarded the higher amount.

How is it paid?

If you are awarded Council Tax Support, it will be credited directly to your council tax account. 

A new bill will be sent to you showing the amount you have been awarded and any changes to the amount you pay. 

What if I am already getting Housing Benefit?

If you already receive Housing Benefits but did not qualify for Council Tax Support, you can apply again at a later date if your circumstances change. You just need to fill out the short Council Tax Support application form.

How do I claim Council Tax Support in Torbay?

Apply for Council Tax Support through Torbay Council’s online portal. This is available on their website.

What should I do next?

Before you apply for Council Tax Support, make sure you’re fully informed about the benefits you’re entitled to. Take a look at these resources: