Apply for council tax support

Working-age income banded scheme

image of money
Apply for help with your council tax bill

We launched a new council tax support scheme for working-age customers on 1 April 2023. Its aims to make the amount of support customers recieve more stable month-to-month. It also offers those on the lowest incomes up to 100% discount on their council tax bill. 

Download our scheme regulations to find out more.

How does the new scheme work? 

Our scheme works by placing your weekly income into a band.

If your income changes within a band, the amount of support you get won't change. The amount of support you get will only go up or down if the income you recieve means you go up or down an income band.

This should make it easier for customers to budget as they will know what support they will get from month to month. 

2023/2024 income bands

There are five different income bands, depending on household size and make-up:

2023/2024 income bands

  Band 1 Band 2 Band 3 Band 4 Band 5
  100% discount 75% discount 50% discount 25% discount No discount
Single person with no children

£0 to £86

£86.01 - £126 £126.01 - £166 £166.01 - £206 £206.01 or more
Single person with one child £0 - £179 £179.01 - £219 £219.01 - £259 £259.01 - £299  £299 or more
Single person with two or more children £0 - £252 £252.01 - £292 £292.01 - £332 £332.01 - £372 £372.01 or more
Couple with no children £0 - 134 £134.01 - £174 £174.01 - £214 £214.01 - £254 £254.01 or more
Couple with one child £0 - £227 £227.02 - £267 £267.01 - £307 £307.01 - £347 £347.01 or more
Couple with two or more children £0 - £301 £301.01 - £341 £341.01 - £381 £381.01 - £421 £421.01 or more

What does it mean for claimants?

If you claim council tax support, when you receive your new bill it will tell you what band you are in and what support you are receiving, based on your income and household make-up.

When we calculate your income to work out your band, we will not take into consideration the following:

  • Carers Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance Support Component
  • Non-dependent deductions
  • Personal Independence Payments
  • Universal Credit Carer Element
  • Universal Credit Disabled Child Element
  • Universal Credit Housing Element
  • War Widows/Widowers and War Disablement Pensions

In addition residents:

  • who claim a disability benefit will receive an £85 disregard from their income (per household).
  • who are in work will have up to £50 disregarded from their earned income (per household).
  • in the lowest income band will be eligible for 100% discount on their bill.
  • in bands E to H will no longer have support capped at Band D.
  • who forget to claim will now be able to have their claim backdated up to six months.

A change in income or circumstances will take effect from the date a change happens, rather than the following Monday.

We will also no longer issue a separate award letter, as your bill will show you what reduction you have received.

What if the support I have received has gone down?

Our new scheme is more generous and will see up to £600,000 more support distributed to residents across the district each year.

If however your council tax support drops as a result of the new scheme and you are facing exceptional financial hardship as a result, you will be able to apply to our exceptional hardship fund.

To request an application form for our exceptional hardship fund, please fill out discretionary council tax relief application form.

You will need to supply evidence to support your application which is detailed in the form. Please send your completed form and evidence to and include discretionary council tax relief application in the title of your email. 

To find out more about the exceptional hardship fund, please read our policy.

Will I qualify?

You may qualify for support, if your income falls into one of the income bands (see above), and:

  • You do not have savings of over £6,000, unless you receive income-related Employment Support Allowance, income-based Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support.
  • You are not living with/paying board to a close relative.
  • You are not from outside the UK and do not have access to public funds.

How to apply for council tax support

If you receive housing benefit we already hold a lot of the details we need to process your claim for local council tax support, so applying is really quick.

You will need to select 'apply for another benefit' on our council tax and benefits portal and make sure you have your national insurance number and housing benefits claim reference handy before you start.   

Apply for another benefit

If you receive universal credit, or don't get help towards your rent, you will need to select 'make a new claim' on our council tax and benefits portal.

A new claim takes between 15 and 30 minutes to complete.

Before you start your online application, please make sure you have the following information to hand:

  • Name, date of birth and address details
  • National insurance number for you (and your partner – if applicable)
  • Income and capital for you (and your partner – if applicable)
  • Income for other people that live with you (if applicable)
  • Your council tax account number, if you have one
  • Your evidence - see our evidence checklist

If you don’t have time to complete it in one go, you can save it and fill it in later (up to 10 days). If you decide to save it, you will be given a reference which you will need to keep safe, in order to return to your application.

Make a new claim

Important information before you apply

Please read our full privacy notice before you make your application. Our system is not available between 2am and 2.15am (Monday - Thursdays) and 2am and 4am (early Saturday mornings) allow for daily maintenance to take place. Please do not attempt to use this service between these times or you may lose your data.