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Council Tax - second adult rebate

This advice applies to England

Second adult rebate is a rebate you can get on your council tax. You may be able to get it if you have a second adult living with you – that is an adult who isn't your partner and whose income is low enough or who is on certain benefits. If you're entitled to second adult rebate, it means that the amount of council tax you have to pay is reduced by a certain amount. The amount it's reduced by will depend on the income of the adult who is living with you. Their capital is not taken into account.

Second adult rebate is also known as alternative maximum CTR.

It's not possible to get both Council Tax Reduction and a second adult rebate. If you qualify for both, your local council should award you the higher amount.

If you're a pensioner, you must be able to claim second adult rebate instead of CTR if you meet certain conditions.

If you're not a pensioner, your local authority can decide whether or not to make second adult rebate available. If you're not a pensioner, you should check with your local authority to see whether second adult rebate is available in your area.

More about who is a pensioner

When to claim second adult rebate

You might want to claim second adult rebate if you can't get Council Tax Reduction because your income or capital is too high. Capital means things like savings and certain types of property.

When the local authority assesses you for second adult rebate, they will only look at the income of the adult living with you – not at your income or capital.

Check if you're eligible for second adult rebate

You can claim second adult rebate if you have another adult living with you who:

  • is 18 or over
  • is not your husband, wife, partner or civil partner
  • doesn't have joint responsibility with you for paying council tax
  • doesn't have to pay you rent
  • is not a joint owner, joint tenant the property with you
  • is not a licensee of the property
  • has income below a certain amount, or who gets certain benefits
  • is not someone who is ignored when the local authority works out who lives with you – for example someone who is currently in prison, or who is severely mentally impaired

To work out whether or not you're entitled to second adult rebate, the local authority will need to check you have someone who counts as a second adult living with you. They will then work out how much income the second adult has. The less income a second adult has, the higher the rebate will be.

People who don't count as a second adult

There are some adults who live with you who the local authority won't count as a second adult. This means that you won't be able to make a claim for second adult rebate just because one of these people lives with you - although you can still make a claim if there's another adult in your household who does qualify.

If you are a couple, an adult living with you and your partner won't count as a second adult unless either you or your partner is someone who the local authority ignores when working out whether you're entitled to a council tax discount – for example if you're a full-time student or aged 17 or under.

Another type of person who doesn't count as a second adult is someone who lives with two other people in your household who have joint responsibility for paying council tax because they are joint owners, tenants or licensees. This could mean, for example, the adult son or daughter of another couple who lives with you.

This person would still count as a second adult though if all, or all but one, of these people is someone who the local authority ignores when working out whether you're entitled to a council tax discount.

More about council tax discounts

How the second adult's income is worked out

When your local authority works out how much income the second adult has, they will include all their income. This includes their earnings and any income from capital – although not the capital itself.

The following income is ignored:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIPs)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payments (AFIPs)
  • payments from certain charitable trusts

If there is more than one second adult living with you

If there is more than one second adult sharing your home, the income of both or all of them is taken into account, except for the disability payments mentioned earlier. If one of the adults is getting any of the following benefits, their income is also ignored:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)

The local authority will count the income of any other second adult who isn't getting one of these benefits. If they get Universal Credit (UC) it will be treated as income.

If you're entitled to second adult rebate, it will be based on the income of the second adult who isn't on the benefits listed above.

Second adults whose income is ignored

The income of some second adults who live with you is ignored completely. These are people who the local authority don't count as living with you when they work out if you're entitled to a council tax discount. They include people who are currently in prison or who have a severe mental impairment.

However, if there's a second adult like this with a partner who is counted as living with you, the income of both these second adults will be taken into account.

How much second adult rebate you can get

If the second adult is on benefits

If any of the second adults in your home is getting one of the following benefits, you will get a 25 per cent rebate on your council tax:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)

If any of the second adults in your home is getting Universal Credit (UC), you won’t automatically get a 25 per cent rebate. Instead, you should think of them as 'not on benefits' for this purpose and treat their UC as income.

If the second adult isn't on benefits

The size of your rebate depends on the second adult's gross weekly income.

Second adult's gross weekly incomeCouncil Tax rebate

Less than £193

15 per cent

Between £193 and £249.99

7.5 per cent

More than £250

No rebate

It's only possible to get a 100 per cent second adult rebate if all the second adults in your household are on benefits and everyone else in your home – including you – is a full-time student.

The second adult must be getting one of the following benefits:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)

How to claim second adult rebate

Your local authority's website should tell you how to make a claim for second adult rebate. Contact their customer service team if you can't find what you need.

You can find the website for your local authority on GOV.UK.

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