Transition to universal credit: Local Council Tax / Rates

Council Tax Benefit, which provided help for people on low incomes towards their council tax, was abolished from 1 April 2013. It was replaced with local council tax support schemes. Support for council tax is therefore outside of the Universal Credit system. This means each local council is responsible for setting and running their own arrangements to support people on low incomes with their council tax bills.

The schemes run differently in each area. There is a postcode tool on GOV.UK that takes you to the relevant section of the relevant council’s website.

In Northern Ireland there is a system of rates instead of council tax. People on low incomes may be entitled to rate relief and there are also allowances for lone pensioners (people living alone aged 70 or over) and disabled people. More information is available on the NI Direct website.

Last reviewed/updated 1 June 2020