skip to main content

Council Tax Support rules for Pensioners

You are treated as a pensioner for Council Tax Support if you have reached the qualifying age for State Pension Credit and are not in receipt of Income Support, Jobseeker's Allowance (Income Based), Employment Support Allowance (Income Based) or an award of Universal Credit.

The way we work out your Council Tax Support entitlement will depend on what income you receive against your "living allowance", which is the minimum amount you and your family need to live on each week. When we work out your "living allowance" we will look at:

  • you and your partner's age

  • any disabilities you and your partner may have.

Pension Credits

If you receive Pension Credit your entitlement will be based on these details. View more information about Pension Credits.

Guarantee Credit

If you receive the Guarantee Credit, you will get the full amount of Council Tax Support after any deductions for other people (non-dependants) living with you.

If you receive Guarantee Credit and have savings above £16,000, you can still claim Council Tax Support.

Savings Credit

If you get Savings Credit only you may not get full Council Tax Support.

The Pension Service will work out your total income for Pension Credit. This is called your Assessed Income Figure (AIF). From this amount, any Savings Credit is worked out. The Pension Service will tell us both your AIF figure and any Savings Credit award you are entitled to.

It will be these two amounts we use when working out your Council Tax Support entitlement. If you do not agree with the figures provided by the Pension Service, you must tell the Pension Service to look again at your details.

If you do receive Savings Credit but have savings over the £16,000 capital limit you cannot get Council Tax Support.

What if I don't get any Pension Credit?

If you haven't claimed or don't qualify for Pension Credit, you can still claim Council Tax Support.

We will work out any entitlement using the income and savings you tell us about.

We will work out your weekly income, we will include any State Pensions and other pensions, you and any partner may receive.


Where you or your partner have savings we will look at the total amount you have.

From this figure, we will work out any "tariff income" from these savings which will be included in the calculation as income.

If you have savings and capital over £16,000 you will not be entitled to Council Tax Support

We work out "tariff income" as follows:

We do not count any savings less than £10,000.

For savings above £10,000, we take £1 income (tariff income) for every £500 or part of £500 over £10,000. This tariff income will be applied up to the £16,000 cut-off level.

For example:

Pensioner with £14,000 in savings

We ignore the first £10,000

From the remaining amount (£14,000 - £10,000) = £4,000 we will assume "tariff income" of £8 per week. (£4,000 divided by £500 = £8)

Any tariff income will be added to your other income to work out your total weekly income for entitlement purposes.

Deductions from your award due to other adults living with you?

The amount of support you get may be reduced because you have other adults living with you and we may have to make a deduction for these. We call the other adults 'non-dependants':

A non-dependant is someone who is aged over 18 and who normally lives with you. This may be an adult son, daughter, parent, relative or friend.

Boarders, sub-tenants and people jointly responsible for the rent or council tax with you are not classed as non-dependants.

We do not use any money paid by a non-dependant to you. Instead, we use fixed deductions to reduce your Council Tax Support entitlement based on the circumstance and gross income of each non-dependant(s). For non-dependant couples, we only make one deduction based on the gross joint income for the non-dependant couple.

Weekly non-dependant deductions appropriate for 2024/2025

Council Tax Support Deductions - Pension Credit Age

Scroll for more
Income type Weekly deduction

For each non-dependant aged 18 years or over in remunerative work* with a gross weekly income of £554.00 or more

As above but income between £445.00 and £553.99 £12.60

As above but income between £256.00 and £444.99


As above but income less than £256.00


For each non-dependant who is receiving Income Support/ Job Seekers Allowance (Income based)/ Pension Credit/ Universal Credit and not in remunerative work


For all other non-dependants aged 18 years or over


 Any age on Employment Support Allowance (Contribution Based) on main phase or assessment phase


 Any age on Employment Support Allowance (Income Related) – on main phase or assessment phase


*working is defined as 16 hours per week or more.

When are deductions not made?

We do not make deductions for any non-dependant if the person claiming Council Tax Support or their partner is:

  • registered blind, or

  • getting Attendance Allowance or Constant Attendance Allowance, or

  • getting Disability Living Allowance Care element at any rate or Personal Independence or Payment Daily Living Allowance component or Armed Forces Independence payment award.

Or if the non-dependant:

  • is aged under 18 - but a deduction will be made from his/her 18th birthday

  • is getting Income Support or Job Seekers Allowance (Income Based) or Employment Support Allowance (Income Related)

  • is doing a youth training scheme

  • is going to college as a full-time student

  • is still at school and child benefit remains in payment for them

  • normally lives elsewhere.

If you are not sure what you must tell us about, tell us anyway and we will let you know exactly how it will affect your claim.

How do I apply?

You should make your claim as soon as possible by completing the form below. If you delay claiming you may lose support. You may also have to provide us with additional information and documents to support your claim - a checklist will be produced at the end of the form telling you what further information we need.

Apply for Council Tax Support

Need help with your claim?

If you wish to make a claim and are housebound please call us on 01480 388308 and our advisers will help you with any questions you may have or may be able to arrange for someone to visit you at home to help you.

Second Adult Rebate

You may be entitled to claim a Second Adult Rebate if you are of pensionable age and have too much income yourself to qualify for Council Tax Support, but you have other adults (not your partner or a tenant or lodger) living with you who are on a low income.

See our What is a Second Adult Rebate? webpage for more information.

Can my claim be backdated?

We can award help for up to 3 calendar months before the date you claim provided you have a good reason for not making a claim sooner.

Not knowing about Council Tax Support or not filling in the form when first asked to claim are not good reasons. You must tell us of other things which may have stopped you from claiming sooner.

Write to us giving clear reasons why you did not make a claim earlier. It is important that you give as much information as possible so the correct decision can be made. Any documents to help support your backdate request should also be sent to us to help us make our decision. This should include letters from a doctor, social worker or advice agency where possible.

We will look at your request and make a decision based on the information provided. We will write to you and explain our decision and, if your claim is backdated, we will pay any Council Tax Support you are entitled to.

If your claim is not backdated, you have the right to dispute or appeal against our decision. See the details on Disputes and Appeals.

Changes in your circumstances

You must tell us about any changes to your circumstances within 21 days. 

Tell us about changes in your circumstances.