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Council Tax Reduction - how to apply

This advice applies to Scotland

You should apply to your local council for Council Tax Reduction (CTR). You can find your local council on mygov.scot.

You can apply in the following ways, depending on how your local council accepts applications:           

  • in writing - your local council might have an application form
  • electronically - if you do not get an online acknowledgement, phone the local council and check if your application has been received
  • by phone - you might be asked to provide a written statement to support your application.

If you apply for Universal Credit, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send information to your local council. Your local council might automatically use this information to check if you can get CTR and you won’t need to make a separate application. You should check with your local council if you have to apply for CTR separately.

If you apply for a DWP benefit, other than Universal Credit, you should be asked if you want to apply for CTR. If you say yes, the DWP should send information to your local council, but you will need to apply to your local council for a CTR.

Evidence to support your application

Your local council might ask you to send more information or evidence after you’ve made an application

If you’re unable to answer all the questions immediately, or do not have evidence to hand, you should state 'information/evidence to follow' for any questions you cannot answer, but do not delay applying.

You might be asked to send evidence of:

  • earnings - for example, pay slips
  • savings - for example, building society statements.

If you’re asked for information or evidence, you should supply it within a month. If you think that you need more time, you should tell the local council in writing as soon as possible, and ask for more time.

The local council might give you more time if the delay is reasonable, for example, if you have been ill or your employer has refused to provide information.

If you change or withdraw your application

Before the local council has made a decision on your application, you can:

  • withdraw your application
  • change any information you have given.

If you change the information, the local council will make the decision using the new information as if you had given this when you first applied.

If you’re part of a couple

If you are part of a couple, one partner must claim Council Tax Reduction (CTR) on behalf of both of you. The amount of reduction is worked out using your combined income and capital.

You can decide which of you should make the application, but the applicant's own circumstances can affect the CTR calculation. Who applies might affect:

  • whether you’re treated as pensioners
  • whether there is a non-dependant deduction
  • if you can get a disability premium
  • if you can get a severe disability premium
  • if you can get an enhanced disability premium
  • which component you can get.

If you or your partner has reached State Pension age

The person who has reached State Pension age should apply for Council Tax Reduction (CTR) so that your application is assessed under the pension age rules.

Even if one of you has reached State Pension age, the working age rules will apply if you or your partner get:

  • Universal Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support.

You can find out your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

If you’re acting on behalf of someone 

If you have powers to manage someone else's affairs given to you by a court, you should be able to apply for Council Tax Reduction on their behalf.

Find out more about managing affairs for someone else.

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