Every little helps when it comes to making savings as a single parent. Knowing what help and reductions you’re entitled to is vital to making your money go further. If you’re a single parent in the UK you might be entitled to a council tax reduction. Here’s what you need to know…
Need help getting your finances in order? One of the first things that all new single parents need to do is get their money matters sorted. You’ll find lots of help and advice in How To Be A Happy Single Parent book, and you can connect with others going through the same process on the Frolo app.
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Single parents may be eligible for a reduction in their council tax. Here's a breakdown of the most commonly asked questions and answers on the topic.
Single parents may be eligible for a reduction in their council tax. The reduction rates vary based on the local council and the number of children in the household. For example, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London offers different percentage reductions based on the weekly income and the council tax band for single parents with one or two children. You can find out what reductions you might be entitled to by searching your postcode here: gov.uk.
The rules for council tax reduction can vary between different regions of the UK. For instance, the availability of council tax reduction and the specific criteria for eligibility may differ between England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and also borough by borough within each of these. It's important to check with your local council to understand the specific rules and rates that apply to each area.
In general, single adults, including single parents, who are the only adult living in a property are eligible for a 25% reduction in their council tax bill. This reduction is based on the assumption that there is only one adult in the property who is liable to pay council tax. The 25% discount is a standard rate applied across the UK. Other family or single parent reduction schemes specific to your local council will be separate to this. gov.uk/apply-for-council-tax-discount
Universal Credit does not directly affect the amount of council tax a person has to pay. However, individuals receiving Universal Credit may be eligible for council tax reduction, depending on their income and personal circumstances. You should check with your local council to determine the impact of Universal Credit on your council tax payments. citizensadvice.org.uk
There are various exemptions for council tax, such as a 25% single person discount, discounts for full-time students, and discounts for individuals with severe mental illness and disabilities. Additionally, some properties may be exempt from council tax, such as those occupied only by full-time students or those used as armed forces accommodation. The specific exemptions can vary by location, so it's important to check with the local council for details. There are other exemptions to council tax, such as living on a boat or other dwelling that cannot be counted as a property.
Whether council tax is payable when living with family members depends on the specific circumstances. If, for example, you are living with your parents, and they are already paying their council tax bill in full with no discounts, you will not usually have to pay anything additional while you are living at home with them. You can find out more at gov.uk/council-tax/who-has-to-pay
Read our full guide to single parent benefits here to find out what other help you might be entitled to.
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