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Can I Claim Council Tax Relief?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 13 Mar 2014 | comments*Discuss
Council Tax Rebate Local Authority Adult


I live in my own home and I have two children aged 18 and 20. The 18 year old has only been able to find 8 to 12 hours per week and my son has been working mainly on a temporary basis for building contractors, although he has spent most of the last two years unemployed.

I have been paying full council tax for the last two years since my son's 18th birthday and I wondered, as the household relies heavily upon my income which is less than £17,000 pa, whether I could claim for council tax relief? My son has currently been out of work for over 7 weeks and my daughter has had her present job since pre-Christmas 2007. My son has just signed on at the job centre today.

Is there anything that I can do to help my current situation, as my income has considerably shrunk in value over the last 3 months and I am beginning to find keeping my children increasingly harder to do?

(Mrs A.W., 18 September 2008)


First, it is important to point out that although they are your children, in the eyes of the law and the local authority, your son and daughter are adults.

For benefits and Council Tax purposes, a child is under 17, or under 18 and still in full-time education. After that, they are either a student, in which case different circumstances apply, or they are an adult that is required to contribute, or claim their own benefits.

So, in order to give you the correct advice, you will need to appreciate that your children are considered ‘two more adults’ in your house, so, assuming you do not have a partner which you have not mentioned, there are three adults living in your house.

How Many Adults?

Council Tax is calculated on the assumption that there are two working adults in each household, so any other adults, who either work or claim benefits, are expected to inform their local authority of their situation. This, of course, can work both in your favour and against, depending on circumstances, so it is always better to tell your local authority exactly who is living in your home and what their employment situation is, so your Council Tax can be calculated correctly.

Council tax benefits are able to be claimed by adults who have savings, earnings and investments if less than £16,000 per annum. Your £17,000 annual earnings put you above this category, so you, personally, are not eligible for Council Tax benefits.

Job Seeker's Allowance

However, as your son is claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, he may well be entitled to claim Council Tax benefit. He should speak to an advisor at the Job Centre and they will give him a claim form to fill in.

Second Adult Rebate

For your daughter, although she is not claiming Job Seeker's Allowance, you may be able to claim for a Second Adult Rebate. Second Adult Rebate is for when the second adult in the home, who is not the partner of the home owner or ‘first adult’, has a weekly income of less than £230.99. If you daughter earns less than £177 per week, you can claim a reduction of 15% of your Council Tax and, if she earns between £177 and £230.99, you can claim a 7.5% reduction.

The best place for you to start is by visiting your local authority and explaining your situation. They will ensure you are receiving the correct reduction in Council Tax and indeed, tell you if you are entitled to other benefits, such as an Energy Efficiency Grant.

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i live in a gannie annex and i am over 65 that mean i should not pay any council tax but as my wife is 59 the council say i have to pay full council tax would it not be 25 %off ?
rob - 13-Mar-14 @ 1:37 PM
I am a single parent on benefits £100 per week my son has started working and earns £200 per week I have now been informed I have to pay full rent and council tax which means my son will have to pay more instead of living in digs is this right
bigone - 9-Oct-13 @ 5:02 PM
I am unemployed and my jobseekers allowance has just run out (182 days). I live at home with my pensioner parents and my brother who is not employed. My savings are now down to a little over £3,000. Am I entitled to council tax relief and/or any assistance?
DJL - 24-Jun-13 @ 3:43 PM
I am retiring on 31.May 2013 having reached my 65th birthday on the 8th of May. My wife is also 65. She has been getting her Pension since she was 60. I will be getting my first pension payment in early June. My wife works 16 hours per week as she feels that it keeps her in touch with things. I, on the other hand had been looking forward to staying on at work but started suffering debilitating bouts of vertigo which my doctor describes as Meniere's Disease about 15 months ago. This on top of type 1 Diabetes (Insulin controlled) which I have sufferd for over 30 years and high bood pressure for which I have treatment for the last 2 years. I have found tyhe strain too much to bear and have decided to retire instead. Now to the point. Am I, do you think entitled to claim any benefits to help with my condition? Are we entitled to claim Council Tax refunds for instance? We are not scroungers a both my wife and I have worked all our lives and only claime unemployment benefit when we were made redundant 15 years ago for a few months.I would just like to know if we are entitled to any help as our income has been considerably reduced through my retirement. Thanks Terry Henry
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Jujhar - 19-Sep-12 @ 4:43 PM
Hi im a single parent who works full time earning 19000 before tax, I have my son 19 and daughter 16 living with me.my son was at college last year but due to cost cutting his course has been dis continued and to complete his 2nd year will have to travel 23miles so has decided to go onto job seekers. my daughter who has struggled with school got offered a college place but has decided against it and has got 20hours employment in retail. Do I qualify to any kind of financial help ?
fitsy - 13-Jul-12 @ 1:19 PM
My partner and myself have split up. we rent a house and I would like to stay.My 18 year old son lives with me but is unemployed and receives job seekers allowance. Can I claim for lower Council Tax? Thank you
jules - 13-Jun-11 @ 12:47 PM
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