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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.

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 and if you have any dependent children living with you.

Personal allowance or premiumAmount
Single or lone parent under 65 £159.35
Single or lone parent over 65 £172.55
Couple both under 65 £243.25
Couple where one or both of you are over 65 £258.15
Additional amount for each dependent child or young person £66.90

Premiums - amounts

PremiumAmount
Family premium £17.40
Disabled child premium £60.06
Severe disability premium if you're single £62.45
Severe disability premium if you're a couple and only one of you is disabled £62.45
Severe disability premium if you're a couple and both of you are disabled £124.90
Enhanced disability premium £24.78
Carer's premium £34.95

Family premium

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.

Enhanced disability premium

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 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.

Carer's premium

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.

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