Council Tax Reduction - how is your applicable amount worked out if you're a pensioner
To work out whether you're entitled to Council Tax Reduction (CTR) and how much you’re entitled to, your local authority may need to look at your weekly income.
The council will only assess your CTR as a pensioner if you're over the State Pension Credit age. Check if you're over the Pension Credit age on GOV.UK.
They will compare this with an amount the Government or the local authority says you need to live on. This amount is called your applicable amount.
If your income is the same as or less than your applicable amount, you’ll get a full reduction on your council tax.
If your income is more than your applicable amount, you may be able to get some CTR, but this will depend on your income and won't be the full amount.
Read this page to find out how your applicable amount is calculated if you're a pensioner. If you're not a pensioner you should check the rules of your local authority's CTR scheme to see how your applicable amount is worked out.
If you get Pension Credit
If you get Pension Credit, the local authority doesn't need to work out your entitlement to CTR. You will either be entitled to the full reduction, or the local authority will use the Pension Service's calculation of your income and applicable amount to work out how much CTR you should get. This depends on whether you get the guarantee part of Pension Credit or not.
If you’re a pensioner but you don’t get Pension Credit
If you’re a pensioner but you don’t get Pension Credit, your local authority will need to calculate your weekly income and your applicable amount to work out if you're entitled to CTR.
If you are a pensioner your applicable amount is made up of:
- a personal allowance for yourself and your partner, if you have one
- an additional amount for any dependant child or young person in your family
- any premium that applies to you. A premium is an extra amount that you might get, for example, because you are disabled or have a disabled child.
These amounts are added together to calculate how much the local authority says you need to live on, depending on your circumstances.
Personal allowances - amounts
The following table shows the amounts for personal allowances.
|Personal allowance||Amount per week|
|Single or lone parent||£191.15|
|Couple where one or both of you are over State Pension age||£286.05|
If you have any dependent children living with you
If you have a dependent child or young person living with then you can get an extra amount added to your personal allowance. This is £68.60 per week.
You can only get this an additional amount for a maximum of 2 dependent children or young people, unless:
- you're getting Child Tax Credit for more than 2 children or young people
- your reduction on 05/04/17 included an allowance for a third or subsequent child
Premiums - amounts
|Disabled child premium||£65.94|
|Severe disability premium if you're single||£67.30|
|Severe disability premium if you're a couple and only one of you is disabled||£67.30|
|Severe disability premium if you're a couple and both of you are disabled||£134.60|
|Enhanced disability premium||£26.67|
Your applicable amount will include a family premium if you have one or more dependent children.
Only one family premium will apply, regardless of the number of children or young people there are in your household.
What counts as a dependent child or young person?
A dependant child or young person is any child or young person from the age of 0 to 19 who you claim child benefit for.
They don't count as a dependant if they get Income Support, income-based Jobseekers' Allowance (JSA), income-based Employment And Support Allowance (ESA) or universal credit.
Disabled child premium
Your applicable amount will include a disabled child premium if you or your partner is responsible for a child or young person living in your household who meets at least one of the following conditions:
- is blind
- gets Disability Living Allowance
- gets Personal Independence Payment
- would get one of these benefits if they were not in hospital.
You can get the disabled child premium for each child who satisfies one of these conditions.
If your child dies, the disabled child premium will continue to apply for eight weeks as long as you are still getting Child Benefit during this period.
- Find out more about Child Benefit after the death of a child on GOV.UK
- More about Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Enhanced disability premium
This is sometimes called the 'disability income guarantee'.
The local authority will include the enhanced disability premium in your applicable amount if you have a child or young person living with you as a member of your family and they are entitled to either:
- the highest rate care component of Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or
- the enhanced rate daily living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
If an award of DLA or PIP stops because the child or young person goes into hospital the premium continues to apply. If the child or young person dies, the premium continues to apply during the period when Child Benefit is still being paid.
- More about Child Benefit after the death of a child or young person on GOV.UK
- More about Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
- More about Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
The local authority will include the carer's premium in your applicable amount if either you or your partner is entitled to Carer's Allowance. You might still qualify for the premium if you're entitled to Carer's Allowance but don't actually get it because of overlapping benefit rules. You must have actually made a claim for Carer's Allowance in order for the premium to apply.
What if both you and your partner qualify for carer's premium?
If both you and your partner qualify for carer's premium, two premiums will be included in your applicable amount.
What if your entitlement to Carer's Allowance ends?
If the person you care for dies, the carer's premium will continue to be included in your applicable amount for eight weeks. The eight week begins on the Sunday following the death or from the date of the death, if this is a Sunday.
If your entitlement to Carer's Allowance ends for any other reason, the premium will continue to apply for eight weeks.
If you or your child get a disability benefit from an EU country, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein
You might be able to get the severe disability premium, enhanced disability premium or disabled child premium. Gather all the documents that show why you get the benefit and go to your local council to apply for a premium.
If you’re not sure what evidence you need - contact your nearest Citizens Advice.
If you think your client is eligible for a premium
Your client will need to gather as much evidence and documentation as they can that show why they get the benefit and go to their local council.
The DWP has published an example case that covers the type of evidence the benefit department might want to see, for example - the reasons why the disabled person gets the benefit from an EEA country or Switzerland. See an example case from the DWP’s Decision Makers Guidance .
If your client has applied and been refused - you can get specialist help from the Expert Advice Team.