Council tax support

Council tax support helps people who have no income or a low income to pay their council tax.

We can’t backdate council tax support, so it’s important to apply as soon as possible.

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You can find out more in our council tax support leaflet.  Our council tax support policy explains the background to the scheme.  You can also see our uprated amounts for 2016/17.

Read this page to see if you’re eligible.  If you are, the fastest way to claim is by ringing our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121.  We’ll give you an appointment for an advisor to ring you back to complete the claim.

If you have an existing benefit claim number, you can make a new claim using the online benefits system.

If you made your claim by phone or online, we’ll send you a summary of the details we’ll use to work out your benefit.  You need to check the information and tell us if anything is missing or wrong and supply your supporting documents.

To make a claim by post, download a claim form.  You have to print the form before you fill it in.

  • You can claim if you own or rent your home and have to pay council tax.
  • You can claim if you’re working, unemployed or of pension age.
  • You can apply even if you already get a 25% discount for living alone.

How much council tax support you get depends on how much income you and your partner have, how much you both have in savings and whether you are working age or pension age.

In Cornwall everyone of working age has to pay at least 25% of their council tax.

If you’re pension age, you may be able to get council tax support to cover all of your council tax.

If you’re working age and your property is in council tax band E, F, G or H, council tax support will be awarded as though you are in a band D property.  There is no extra support for higher banded properties.  If you want to know more about this, ring our benefits advice line on 0300 1234 121.

If you’re working age and have savings of £6,000 or more, you can’t get council tax support.

If you’re over state pension age and have savings of £16,000 or more, you can’t get council tax support.

If you get the guarantee credit part of pension credit, your savings aren’t taken into account.

Savings include any money you have in the bank or building society, land or property you own, but not the value of the home you live in. For a couple, your joint savings are taken into account.

You may get less council tax support if one or more adults who aren’t dependant on you live with you.  For example, this could be a grown-up son or daughter.  How much less you get will depend on their age and how much income they have.

You will not get less council tax support if:

  • You or your partner are registered blind or get attendance allowance or the care component of disability living allowance, or
  • The person who lives with you is not taken into account.  For example, if you get child benefit for them, they are a student, or they get pension credit, income support, income based jobseeker’s allowance or income related employment support allowance.

If you get council tax support and have exceptional difficulty paying your council tax, you can apply for help from the exceptional relief fund.