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Council Tax Reduction - advance applications

This advice applies to England

If you're on a low income, you may be entitled to some help towards paying your council tax. This is called Council Tax Reduction (CTR).

As a general rule, you're not entitled to claim CTR before you become responsible for paying council tax or before you're entitled to it. However, there are some circumstances where you might be able to claim CTR in advance. It can be useful to do this to make sure that there are no gaps in your payments and you don't get into arrears.

Advance applications can be made by both pensioners and people of working age.

This page tells you more about when you may be able to make an advance application for CTR.

If you're not yet responsible for paying council tax

You can apply for CTR in advance, even if you're not yet responsible for paying council tax on a property. This could be, for example, because you haven't yet moved in. In this situation, you can apply for CTR up to eight weeks in advance.

If you aren't yet entitled to CTR

Sometimes, you may not be currently entitled to CTR but are likely to become entitled in the near future. This might be the case if you know you are going to be redundant. If you're in this situation, you may be able to apply for CTR in advance. How far in advance you can apply depends on whether you're of working age or a pensioner.

Pensioners

If you're a pensioner, you can apply for CTR up to 17 weeks in advance of the date when you are likely to become entitled.

You can also apply for CTR 17 weeks in advance if you're not yet a pensioner but either you or your partner are about to become one.

You become a pensioner when you reach the age for getting Pension Credit.

If you're a woman, the age you can get Pension Credit is the same as your state pension age.

If you're a man, the age you can get Pension Credit might be different from your state pension age.

  • The GOV.UK website has an online calculator which tells you when you can get Pension, available at www.gov.uk

People of working age

You can apply for CTR up to 13 weeks in advance if you're of working age and are likely to become entitled to CTR within the next 13 weeks.

When you apply for CTR, you are considered to be of working age if you're under the age for getting Pension Credit.

Next steps

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