Council Tax Reduction - when to apply
You should apply for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) as soon as possible if you think you are, or will soon be, eligible.
Coronavirus – council tax reduction
If you have less money because of coronavirus, check if you can pay less council tax. You might be able to get a council tax reduction.
Use our check my council tax tool to see if you can get any help with your council tax.
Also check to see if you can get any other help to pay your bills if you’re struggling because of coronavirus.
Where to apply for Council Tax Reduction
You must apply to your local authority for CTR, even if you have made a claim for benefits. You cannot rely on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) passing information to your local authority and automatically starting an application for CTR, even though your local authority may use some figures supplied by the DWP to decide your CTR.
You can find out which local authority deals with your CTR application using the postcode of the property on the GOV.UK website. There is a link to a 'postcode finder' on that page. The Scottish Government website has a map of local authority areas with links to the relevant local authority websites.
Applying in advance
You are not yet liable for the council tax
If you are not yet liable for the council tax on the property, for example because you have not yet moved in, but are likely to be eligible for a CTR when you do become liable, you can make your application in advance. You can apply up to eight weeks in advance.
You are liable for the council tax but not yet eligible for CTR
If you are already liable for council tax and you are not presently eligible for CTR, but you seem likely to become eligible because of some change which will affect the calculation, for example your earnings will drop, you can apply in advance. How far in advance depends on the age of you and anyone else who is liable with you for paying the council tax.
If you are applying for Universal Credit you can apply for CTR at the same time.
If no one liable for council tax will have reached the qualifying age for state pension credit on the date that you would like the CTR to start, you can apply up to 13 weeks in advance.
If someone liable for council tax will have reached the qualifying age for state pension age on the date that you would like the CTR to start, you can apply up to 17 weeks in advance.