Who can claim Council Tax Benefit?
To be eligible to claim Council Tax Benefit you must be liable to pay Council Tax for the property that you currently living at.
To be considered as liable for Council Tax you must be over 18 years old and solely or mainly resident in the property. No one under 18 years old can claim Council Tax Benefit, until 8 weeks before their 18th birthday.
Should you live with a group of friends or relations (but not your current partner), and you have an equal right to residency in the property, you are considered to be jointly liable for Council Tax. In these cases you will only be able to claim Council Tax Benefit in proportion to your liability (two friends equally share a house they would be considered to be equally liable for 50% of the charge levied).
If the property you are liable for is empty you cannot claim Council Tax Benefit, but in many cases the property maybe temporarily exempt from the charge.
People commonly exempt from paying Council Tax and therefore claiming Council Tax Benefit are:
- Persons living in a “house in multiple occupation”. This means a property specially constructed or adapted for more than one household to live in.
- Most hostel and care home residents.
- Lodgers of the tenant or owner of property.
- People considered “severely or mentally impaired”.
- Persons subject to immigration control and who are not considered “habitually resident”. Please see the Recent U.K. Residents link for more information about who is and isn’t able to claim Council Tax Benefit.
In the above circumstances the legal tenant or the owner of the property will be the liable person.