Pensioners could get 100% off their council tax bill – can you claim?

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Pensioners may be entitled to a council tax reduction, but thousands of people could be missing out. There is no set amount of Council Tax Support. What people get depends on their circumstances and where they live.

There are plenty of benefits available to older people in the UK, and subsidised council tax could be one of the more helpful schemes.

Pension Credit may provide the pathway for pensioners to reduce their bill.

Those who receive the Guarantee Credit part of Pension Credit could get their council tax paid in full.

The latest DWP figures indicate £1.7billion is being left unclaimed by around 770,000 older people across the UK who are missing out on this crucial income boost.

The benefit helps top-up a person’s income to a minimum of £182.60 per week for single pensioners and £278.70 for couples.

Homeowners and renters can both claim Council Tax Support, as can both employed and unemployed people.

Guarantee Credit recipients may be able to get their council tax paid in full.

However, people who do not qualify for Guarantee Credit may still be eligible for support if they have a low income and savings of less than £16,000.

If someone is not over state pension age, the Council Tax Support they’re entitled to is worked out under “working age scheme” rules.

As well as Council Tax Support, there are other exemptions and discounts that might apply. People might be able to get money off their council tax bill if:

  • they live alone
  • they’re a carer
  • they or someone they live with has a severe mental impairment, such as dementia or a learning difficulty
  • there are adaptations in the home that make it suitable for someone with a disability who lives there
  • they have another person living with who isn’t their partner and is on a low income
  • their property is empty – for example, they’ve gone into hospital or moved into a care home
  • where they’re living isn’t their main residence
  • there’s an issue, such as a flood, which may be covered by a discretionary discount offered by some councils.

Each local council is responsible for operating its own Council Tax Support scheme so the amounts of support given across the country may vary.

Wherever people live, the amount of Council Tax Support they get depends on many factors, including:

  • which benefits they receive
  • their age
  • their income
  • their savings
  • who they live with
  • how much council tax they pay.

Britons can check these rules with their local council.

Adults who live on their own in their home can get a 25 percent discount on their bill, while some people who live in a property are not counted when calculating a household’s bill.

If everyone who lives in a property is disregarded, the council tax bill will have a 50 percent discount.

As the cost of living crisis continues, Britons are encouraged to claim any savings that can be made available to them.

Age UK is encouraging any pensioners on low income to claim Pension Credit as it is a gateway to many other discounts.

Caroline Abrahams, charity director at Age UK, said: “Although it’s good news that the state pension and benefits will rise in line with inflation from April, many older people are still extremely worried about staying warm and well over the coming months.

“However, there is a lot of extra support available to help those on the lowest incomes this winter and it’s not too late to claim it.”

She continued: “We know that around 770,000 pensioner households are still missing out on Pension Credit and it’s likely that every one of them is struggling to manage their escalating bills at the moment.

“We’re urging anyone who’s finding it hard to pay for the basics such as food and energy to get in touch for a benefits check – claims must be made by mid-December in order to meet the cut-off date for eligibility for the extra payment.”

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