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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Our council tax support policy explains the background to the scheme.  You can also see our uprated amounts for 2017/18.

Read this page to see if you’re eligible.  If you are eligible to make a claim:

  • If you have made a claim before, the fastest way to claim is by signing into your online account (choose benefits, select the account you would like to make a claim for, then select eclaim
  • If you have never claimed before, or do not have an online account, you can still make a claim online

When you make your claim 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.

If you encounter problems using our online claim form, you can call 0300 1234 121 where an advisor will be able to help you.

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.