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Council tax reduction

Council tax reduction enables eligible residents to receive up to a 100 per cent reduction on their Council Tax bill.

Residents may be eligible for council tax reduction if they are:

  • on a low/no household income
  • the liable person for Council Tax
  • eligible for Universal Credit

Residents who are unlikely to qualify include those who:

  • have savings of more than £16,000
  • live with someone who earns over the income threshold

How can residents claim?

There are a number of ways residents can apply for council tax reduction, including:

  • through our online form. If you have any issues call 0300 373 3730. 
  • by printing or downloading a claim form and sending it to us via email or posting it to our Market Hall, Whitehaven office. You can also claim Housing Benefit through this form. 
  • by contacting the Benefits team on 0300 373 3730 or at

For those who live with a partner, one claim should be made for both people. If one person is a student the non-student should complete the claim form noting the student as their partner.

What documents are needed to claim?

If residents are in receipt of Universal Credit they will need to provide their Universal Credit statement. Otherwise, unless your identity has been verified by the Department for Work and Pensions and you are on Job Seekers Allowance (IB), Employment and Support Allowance (IR), Income Support or Guaranteed Pension Credit, you will need to provide two forms of identification, bank statements, proof of capital, pay slips if you are in employment and proof of any income you have. Full details on eligible documents.

How much will eligible residents receive?

Residents can receive up to a 100 per cent reduction on their Council Tax bill. The amount of council tax reduction a person receives depends on their circumstances and what other benefits they are entitled to. Factors that can affect how much residents are entitled to can include household income, savings, pensions and the number of children and adults living in the household.

What happens if a residents circumstances change?

Residents must notify us immediately if they have a change in circumstances. You can do this by our online form here.

Changes in circumstances include but are not limited to changes:

  • in address
  • in household income including other benefits, wages, pensions or income from lodgers. This includes partners', non-dependents' and children’s income
  • to the number of individuals living in the home  
  • in the circumstances of the individuals living in the home including starting or leaving education or study and any changes in employment
  • in who receives carers' allowance for you, or who you receive it for
  • in the amount of savings and capital you hold (for working age claimants this is more than £6,000 and for pension-age claimants, more than £10,000). Please note, if your savings and capital is more than £16,000, you might not qualify.

Residents can notify us of any changes by completing the online change in circumstances form here.  Alternatively, you can notify the changes in writing, by visiting our offices, by email at sends e-mail) or by phone on 01946 598300.

Failure to notify us may lead to council tax reduction changes that might increase your council tax bill. Intentional failure to notify us of any change could be considered fraud, and may be punishable by prosecution, a fine or imprisonment. Find out more about benefit fraud.

How is council tax reduction paid?

Council tax reduction is automatically applied to a resident’s council tax bill. Council tax reduction will not be paid to any resident directly.

What if we pay residents too much?

Residents must notify us immediately if they have a change in circumstances. Once we are made aware of a change in cirumstances, a new council tax bill is generated. Any adjustments will be included in your annual council tax bill, and the remaining balance wil need to be paid by the end of the financial year.

If you have problems paying your council tax, please contact the Council Tax team as soon as possible. Further information regarding debt advice can be sought from Citizens Advice Copeland.

Second adult rebate

Residents that are not eligible for council tax reduction may be eligible for second adult rebate. Those eligible for a second adult rebate must be living with an adult who isn’t their partner and is on low income and/or eligible for certain benefits.

Second adult rebate entitles a council tax payer up to 25 per cent off their council tax bill.

To claim second adult rebate, there must be another adult in the household who:

  • is 18 or over
  • is not a husband, wife, partner or civil partner
  • doesn't have joint responsibility for paying council tax
  • doesn't have to pay rent
  • is not a joint owner, joint tenant of the property
  • is not a licensee of the property

For more information or to claim second adult rebate contact us.

What if you disagree with our decision?

Once you have completed the council tax reduction claim form, one of our officers will assess the claim against the council tax reduction policy, and decide how much you are entitled to. Our officer will then write to you to explain the decision.

If you disagree with our decision, you can write to us and submit a grievance within one month of the date of the decision notice. An officer will then reconsider the claim, considering any further information provided, and write to you with the outcome and whether the entitlement figure will be changed.

If you still disagree with our decision, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal directly. 

If you submit a grievance and we do not respond to you within two months, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal directly.

You can also go to Citizens Advice for independent advice around benefit claims.