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Fees & Funding > Do Pensioners Pay Council Tax? Discount Eligibility

Do Pensioners Pay Council Tax? Discount Eligibility

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Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Council Tax is an annual fee charged by your local council for the services they provide. This is usually paid in ten monthly instalments per year, and the amount you pay depends on your whereabouts in the UK.

Some people are eligible for Council Tax Support or a Council Tax Reduction from their local council.

Here, we’ve explained whether pensioners pay Council Tax, along with who else is eligible for Council Tax support and how to claim it.

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In this article:

  1. Do pensioners pay Council Tax?
  2. How to claim Council Tax Support
  3. Who is eligible for Council Tax Support?
  4. Getting extra money off your Council Tax bill

Do Pensioners Pay Council Tax?

Pensioners in the UK (people above the State Pension age) are usually required to pay Council Tax. However, there are some discounts and exemptions available for certain groups, including pensioners. If you’re a pensioner, any council tax reduction will apply to the whole of your bill.

These discounts and exemptions vary, depending on personal circumstances and specific local authority policies.

For example, if you receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit, you might be able to get your Council Tax paid in full. Similarly, if you don’t receive Guarantee Credit but are on a low income and have less than £16,000 in savings, you may also be eligible for some help.

How To Claim Council Tax Support

Regardless of your age or personal circumstances, local councils often run their own Council Tax Support schemes, so the exact method of claiming will slightly differ, depending on whereabouts you live.

To begin with, you’ll want to apply for a Council Tax Reduction through your local council.

Or, you can find your local council directly and get in touch with them that way.

You may automatically receive a discount on your Council Tax bill. If you’re unsure about this, check your bill or directly contact your local council.

Who Is Eligible For Council Tax Support?

There’s no set amount of Council Tax Support you’ll receive. Rather, how much support you’re eligible for depends on your personal circumstances, where you live and who your local council are. Every local council runs its own Council Tax Support scheme, so the amount of support available will vary from place to place.

Again, whether you’re eligible in your specific area depends on your local council, so be sure to find out what the rules in your area are.

If you haven’t reached State Pension age, the Council Tax Support you’re eligible for is worked out under ‘working age scheme’ rules. Check with your local council to find out exactly how these work where you live.

Getting Extra Money Off Your Council Tax Bill

Council Tax Discount

If any of the following apply, you may qualify for a Council Tax Discount, or you may not have to pay it at all. You’ll be able to apply for a discount through the Council Tax Discount page if:

  • You’re a live-in carer for somebody who isn’t your partner or spouse, or for a child age under 18
  • You have a severe mental impairment
  • You’re a full-time university or college student
  • You’re registered with the British Council as a foreign language assistant
  • You’re a diplomat

Council Tax Reduction

Depending on where you live, your circumstances, household and other factors, you may be eligible for up to 100% off your Council Tax bills (if your weekly income is below a certain amount).

During 2022/2023, single pensioners were eligible if their income was below £197.10 per week.

Visit the Council Tax Reduction application page to check your eligibility.

A similar scheme is also available in Northern Ireland, and you can check your eligibility through nidirect.

If eligible, you won’t receive an actual payment. Rather, your local council will reduce the amount of Council Tax you need to pay.

Aside from pensioners, here are some of the other groups who may be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction:

  • Individuals and families with a low income
  • People who receive certain welfare benefits
  • Disabled individuals
  • Single parents

Council Tax Support Fund

The government has announced further support to help low-income and vulnerable households in England. This funding will allow councils to provide £100 million of financial assistance to 3.8 million households who already receive some form of Council Tax Support.

This support comes in the form of a one-off £25.00 Council Tax Support payment for households with a Council Tax Reduction entitlement on 1st April 2023.

Other local councils are then able to offer slightly different forms of further assistance. For example, Hillingdon Council have used their funding to increase this one-off payment to £32.00, while the New Forest District Council has raised their one-off payment to £35.00.

Council Tax Rebate

The Council Tax Rebate scheme ran from the 1st of April to the 30th of November 2022.

Eligible properties were those within Council Tax Bands A to D, and these were able to receive a £150 payment.

This one-off rebate was introduced to help households cope with rising energy prices.

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