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You might be able to reduce your council tax bill if you live with other adults but you’re the only one responsible for paying council tax. This is called getting a ‘second adult rebate’. Your local council might call a second adult rebate ‘alternative maximum CTR’. 

You might be able to get a second adult rebate if you can't get Council Tax Reduction (CTR) because your income or capital is too high. Capital means things like savings and certain types of property. You can check if you can get CTR if you haven’t already.

You can’t get a second adult rebate at the same time as CTR. 

To work out if you can get a second adult rebate, your council will check if you have any second adults living with you. They’ll then work out how much income the second adults have. The less income the second adults have, the more money you’ll get taken off your council tax bill. 

Check if you’re living with a second adult

A second adult is someone who:

  • is 18 or over
  • isn’t your partner
  • doesn't pay you rent 
  • doesn’t have a contract with your landlord
  • doesn’t jointly own your home
  • is on low income or getting certain benefits 

There might be times when someone who meets these conditions doesn’t count as a second adult. For example, if they’re in prison. You can talk to an adviser if you’re not sure whether someone counts as a second adult. 

Check which rules apply to you

Which rules apply usually depends on whether you’ve reached State Pension age. You can check your State Pension age on GOV.UK.

If you’re under State Pension age, the ‘working age rules’ apply.

If you’ve reached State Pension age, the ‘pension age rules’ usually apply.

Even if you’ve 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

Check how much second adult rebate you can get

If the working age rules apply to you, your local council will have their own rebate rules - you’ll need to check with them to see if you can get a second adult rebate.

If the pension age rules apply to you, you can work out how much your rebate will be. The amount you’ll get depends on the income of any second adults living with you and whether they get benefits. It doesn’t depend on your income or anybody’s capital.

If one or more of the second adults get benefits

If all the second adults are getting one of these benefits, your council tax bill will be reduced by 25%:

  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • income-based Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA)
  • income-related Employment And Support Allowance (ESA)

If there’s another second adult in your home who doesn’t get one of these benefits, your rebate will depend on their earnings.

You can get a 100% rebate if all the second adults in your household get one of these benefits and everyone else is a full-time student, including you.

If a second adult is getting other benefits like Universal Credit, you won’t automatically get a 25% rebate. Your council will treat their income the same as if they were working.

The council will ignore income from:

  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payments (AFIPs)

The council will also ignore some other types of payments, for example if you get support from a charity. If you’re not sure whether a benefit or payment counts as income, you can ask your council.

If one or more of the second adults is working

The size of your rebate depends on the second adults’ weekly income before tax. If you have more than one second adult living with you, your local council will add all their incomes together. 

Second adults’ weekly income before tax Council tax rebate
Less than £215 15%
Between £215 and £278.99 7.5%
£279 or more No rebate

Apply for a second adult rebate

You can fill in a form or apply online. Your local council might also let you apply by phone. You can find your local council’s website on GOV.UK - it will tell you how to apply.

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