Claim Council Tax Support
Council Tax Support (also known as Council Tax Reduction) is a means-tested support provided by the council to help residents pay their Council Tax. If you are entitled to support, we can work out how much you are entitled to.
This means your (and your partner’s) income and capital, and the income of anyone living with you, is assessed to calculate if you are entitled to Council Tax Support. If you are entitled to support, we can work out how much you are entitled to.
You could get Council Tax Support to help you pay your Council Tax if you are on other benefits or you work part-time or work full-time on a low income.
Who can claim
You can claim Council Tax Support if you:
- Are liable to pay Council Tax
- Occupy the home on which Council Tax Support is to be awarded
- Satisfy a means test
If your name is on the Council Tax bill you are liable to pay Council Tax.
If you live in a shared accommodation you should not be liable to pay Council Tax as this would be your landlord’s responsibility.
Once you submit a Council Tax Support application form and all the required documents, we will assess your claim by carrying out a means test. The means test decides how much Council Tax Support you are entitled to.
If you live with a partner, only one of you can make a claim for Council Tax Support as the claimant.
Who cannot claim
You cannot claim Council Tax Support if you and/or your partner:
- have more than £6,000 in combined savings if you are under State Pension age
- have more than £16,000 in combined savings if you are of State Pension age or above
- do not pay Council Tax
- are from abroad, and are subject to immigration control
Your combined savings is the total amount of money you and/or your partner have in all of the following:
- bank current accounts, deposit accounts and savings accounts
- National Saving accounts
- giro bank accounts and building society accounts
- post office accounts
- ISA accounts and Premium Bonds
- shares and unit trusts
- National Savings certificates
- equity of land and buildings
How to claim
Your application for Council Tax Support needs to be submitted to the council. If you need to scan documents to submit to the council, scan stations are available at Barking Library and Dagenham Library.
We only process Council Tax Support applications (and Housing Benefit applications) for residents of Barking and Dagenham.
If you have been placed in temporary accommodation outside of the borough by our housing team, you'll need to claim Council Tax Support from the borough you have been placed in. However, you can claim Housing Benefit with us.
There is only one form that needs to be completed and if you qualify for Housing Benefit and/or Pupil Premium (Free School Meals) we will also automatically award these as well.
Claim benefits with us online using MyAccount. If you don't have a My Account, you can register for My Account.
If you do not have internet access
If you do not have internet access, visit any local library. They are equipped with self-service computers (PCs) which residents can use to access the internet.
If you are unable to use the internet
If you are unable to use the internet we strongly recommend asking your friends or family to help you complete a claim form.
Visiting and welfare
The Visiting and Welfare Officers provide an advisory service to customers in the comfort of their own home. They can assist with the completion of any council benefit related forms that are needed.
If you have difficulty in visiting our Council One Stop Shop (assisted self-service) or are housebound we may be able to visit you and help you claim Council Tax Support.
Similarly if you are finding out how to claim on someone else’s behalf as they are unable to use the internet, you can contact the Visiting and Welfare Team to enquire whether a home visit will be possible on 020 8227 2567.
Proof of your circumstances
Before we can award any Council Tax Support we must see proof of your and your household’s circumstances.
This means you must also provide proof when your circumstances change so we can recalculate your Council Tax Support and continue paying you.
We usually need to see these items of proof:
- original proof of identity for you and your partner (such as driving license or passport)
- original proof of National Insurance number for you and your partner (like a National Insurance card, P45, P60 or a payslip)
- proof of identity for all other household members (birth certificate, driving license or passport)
- proof of all income you, your partner and all household members receive (for example a Child Support Agency letter, payslips or a letter from Student Finance)
- proof of all benefits you, your partner and all household members receive (for example a recent award letter)
- proof of capital (investments, properties and savings) for you and your partner (such as two months’ bank statements for all accounts held or jointly held. This includes statements for inactive bank accounts)
- proof of Child Benefit in payment for all children in the household (such as a recent Child Benefit award letter or recent bank statement showing Child Benefit coming in)
This is not a complete list and we could require additional evidence.
Localised Council Tax Support Scheme Toggle accordion
Each council is required to produce its own scheme to reduce Council Tax liability for a person it considers to be in financial need. The rules regarding Council Tax Support may differ from borough to borough.
You may find the following definitions helpful:
- Total weekly income – this is the total amount of earned and unearned income for you and your partner, after all disregards including student income, and any amounts added to your weekly income depending on how much capital you have
- Total weekly applicable amount – this is the calculated amount you (and your partner) need to meet your necessary weekly costs
- Eligible Council Tax – this is the maximum amount of Council Tax Support we can award you
- Non-dependent deductions – these are the deductions for any adults living with you, such as an adult child, relative or friend, who is not liable to pay rent
Council Tax Support Scheme
Read more about our localised Council Tax Support Scheme
Council Tax Support Scheme (PDF, 1.74 MB)
Students who can claim Toggle accordion
Students and Council Tax Support
Students with a liability to pay Council Tax are only entitled to claim Council Tax Support if they meet any of the following criteria:
- part-time students
- students under the age of 20 in further education
- students that have reached pensionable age
- students who are disabled
- students in receipt of Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance (Income Based) or Employment and Support Allowance (Income Related)
- students with children
- students with non-student partners; however the non-student partner must usually be the main applicant
Some students are exempt from paying Council Tax or receive a discount.
Similarly you may receive a discount on your Council Tax account if you have an adult student living with you.
You can find out more about student Council Tax discounts and disregards and student Council Tax exemptions on our webpages.
Student loans, grants and bursaries are treated as income for Council Tax Support purposes.
If you or your partner are entitled to a Student Loan (via student finance) and choose not to take the loan, then the amount you were entitled to will still be treated as your income.
Similarly if you take a lower amount than you or your partner are entitled to, we will still treat the amount you were entitled to as your income.
The following forms of loans, grants and bursaries are however disregarded for Council Tax Support purposes:
- Childcare Grant
- Parent’s Learning Allowance
- Some bursaries which are for course-related costs and/or childcare
- Special Support Grant
- Student grant for tuition fees
- Student loan for tuition fees
We will need to see all pages of your Student Finance award letter, clearly showing the breakdown of your loans, grants and bursaries.
We will also need to see an original Council Tax exemption certificate or a student registration letter confirming your weekly hours of study and the length of your course.
Reviewing your claim Toggle accordion
We will need to look at your claim from time to time to make sure your Council Tax Support is correct. This is known as a review.
We will be carrying out checks on claims throughout the year. As part of these checks we may need to send you a short claim form to fill in, we may telephone you or visit you at home
You must tell us about any changes you think might affect your Council Tax Support. If you don’t, you may receive too much or too little support, which could result in an overpaid amount of Council Tax Support. Don't wait for us to review your claim.
You must notify us of all changes in your, your partner’s or your household’s circumstances within 21 days of the change taking place.
Where the law allows, we share information with the Department for Work and Pensions and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and look into any cases where the information does not match.
Armed forces personnel Toggle accordion
Information on Council Tax Support and housing support for people who are (or have been) in the armed forces, or who are related to or living with someone in the armed forces can be found in Council Tax exemptions.