Help with council tax or rates

Council tax reduction in England, Scotland and Wales

Local council tax reduction schemes have been introduced to replace Council Tax Benefit. The schemes can help towards the cost of your council tax if you are on a low income.

Council tax reduction schemes are different across the UK:

  • In England, each local council has its own council tax reduction scheme. The support available will depend on where you live.
  • In Scotland and Wales, there are national council tax reduction schemes. The support available is the same across each country.

In some areas, councils also have schemes where they can choose to offer extra support with council tax. These are sometimes called discretionary funds for council tax. In these areas, it may be possible to get an extra payment to help with your council tax, in addition to the normal council tax reduction scheme. These discretionary schemes have different names in different areas.

How to claim

Contact your local council to find out what support they offer. You should be able to find your local council’s contact details in your phone book, or by visiting one of these websites:

Help with rates in Northern Ireland

If you cannot afford to pay your rates bill, contact Land & Property Services as soon as possible on 0300 200 7801.

Before calling, make a list of all the money you have coming in (your income). You should also make a list for anyone living with you. The list should include any benefit payments. There are different options available to help you pay your rates bill, including Housing Benefit and Rate Relief. Visit to find out more.

Back to Help with bills and housing costs

Housing benefit

Housing Benefit may help you pay for rented accommodation if you are on a low income.

Keeping warm

There are simple changes you can make around the house to help keep your energy costs down.

Help with energy bills

There are schemes to help you manage the cost of fuel bills and to make energy-saving changes to your home.