Working out main Council Tax Support

If you have a Council Tax liability you can apply for Council Tax Support (CTS). If you qualify under the rules of our local CTS scheme, you can get either "maximum CTS" or "partial CTS" depending on your income, capital and any appropriate non dependant deductions.

Maximum CTS

Usually, this is 100% of your Council Tax net of any discounts or disabled relief with any appropriate non dependant deductions.

You are entitled to maximum CTS if:

  • you receive Income Support; or
  • you receive income related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • you receive income based Job Seekers Allowance, or
  • you receive the Guaranteed element of Pension Credit; or
  • your income is less than the amount the Government say you need to live on (the 'applicable amount' - see below)

Partial CTS

To qualify for main CTS, when we compare your income and that of any partner, against your total 'applicable amount' (see below), any excess income above your applicable amount will reduce your maximum award by £0.20 for every £1.00 excess, i.e. a 20% taper. We then make deductions for non dependants where applicable. You must be left with at least £0.01 per week minimum CTS to qualify.

Applicable amount

The applicable amount is the amount we say a claimant needs to live on to cover housing costs. For our local CTS scheme, we have used the same amounts as applicable amount for Housing Benefit claims, unless you are awarded Universal Credit. We set these applicable amounts every year starting from 1 April under our local CTS scheme. The applicable amount is made up personal allowances, child allowances and premiums depending on your family circumstances and any disabilities.


We take into account all your income and that of your partner, if you have one. There are some types of income we can disregard partially or in full. Income includes all earnings and benefits. We also take account of assumed (tariff) income from any savings above £6,000 if you are working age and £10,000 for pensioners.


You can have up to £16,000 capital and still qualify for CTS. Above this regardless of how low your income is, you will not qualify. There is no capital limit for Pension Credit. If you get the guarantee element of Pension Credit, we ignore your capital and income. If you get the savings credit only element of Pension Credit, the Pension Service send details to us about your capital. There is a capital limit of £16,000 then.

The calculation

As the starting point of the calculation, we use the full Council Tax charge less deductions for single person discount and any disabled relief. Whatever is left is the eligible council tax.

The applicable amount is taken away from the income. From the figure that is left an applicant is expected to pay 20% of this towards their eligible Council Tax. The lowest amount a person could qualify for is £0.01 per week council tax benefit.

There are also deductions for non dependants under CTS.


Mark claims CTS from 1 April 2014. His full Council Tax is £20 per week. He gets a single person discount of 25%, reducing his eligible Council Tax to £15.00 per week. This is the maximum CTS Mark can get. He does not have any non-dependants living with him.

Mark has total income of £82.40 per week. His applicable amount is £72.40 per week. There are no disregards off his income. His net income exceeds his applicable amount by £10.00 per week.

Using the 20% taper his maximum CTB is reduced by £2.00 (£10.00 excess x 20%).

Mark's CTS entitlement is £15.00 per week minus £2.00 = £13.00 per week.

Universal Credit CTS calculation

If you are entitled to Universal Credit, which is paid calendar monthly, your applicable amount is your maximum Universal Credit amount multiplied by 12 divided by 52 weeks. Then your earned and unearned income less any work allowances and disregards plus your actual Universal Credit award all determined by the DWP is compared to your applicable amount (your maximum Universal Credit amount). If your total income is less then you will receive maximum CTS. If it is more then the 20% taper is applied, which will reduce the maximum CTS award by 20 pence for every £1 excess income.

Non-dependant deductions for CTS

The table is for non-dependants aged 18 or over working on average 16 or more hours per week. If the average is less than 16 per week, then the lowest deduction applies. The lowest deduction also applies for non-dependants who are not working but not claiming State benefits, students during the Summer vacation, if they are not working and non-dependants aged under 25 claiming income related Employment and Support Allowance. Non dependants on Universal Credit with earned income the table below applies to their gross income.

Weekly income Weekly ​non-dependant deductions for CTS from 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020 
Gross income at least £447.40 per week £12.20
Gross income between £360.10 and £447.39 per week £10.20
Gross income between £207.70 and £360.09 per week £8.10
Gross income below £207.70 per week £4.00


Second adult reduction

We will usually work out whether you will be better off getting main Council Tax Support(CTS) or Second Adult Reduction (2AR).This is called the "better buy" calculation.

Second adult rebate is for people who are liable for council tax, but who cannot get the single person discount reduction of 25%, because they have one or more adults living with them. It is the income and capital of the other adult(s) that is taken into account in the calculation, not the claimant's. Rates of reduction are dependent on their circumstances or gross income as follows:

Reduction rates for second adults for April 2016 to March 2017

  • 100% for students where the other adult(s) are on Income Support or income based Jobseeker's Allowance or Pension Credit.
  • 25% where other adult(s) are getting Income Support, income based Jobseekers Allowance or income related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • 15% where other adult(s) have a combined gross income below £193.00 per week.
  • 7.5% where other adult(s) have a combined gross income is between £193.00 and £249.99 per week.
  • 0% where other adult(s) have a combined gross income of £250.00 per week or more.


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