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Last updated:
01/04/2020

How will Universal Credit affect Council Tax?

With Universal Credit replacing legacy benefits, we explain how Universal Credit affects the Council Tax support that you may be able to receive if you are living with a mental health condition.

If you claim Universal Credit, you may be eligible for additional payment to the standard monthly payment to help with your housing costs.

The housing cost element of Universal Credit can help cover rent and some other housing costs, for those who are eligible.

If you claim Universal Credit, you may be entitled to a council tax exemption or support to pay your bill if you're suffering from a mental health illness.

Can I get a Council Tax reduction with a mental health condition while claiming Universal Credit?

If you have a mental health condition and claim Universal Credit, you may be entitled to a Council Tax exemption or discount.

This will depend on your circumstances and where you live. Your local authority can decide how much Council Tax you are required to pay.

Council Tax exemption

Council Tax ruling states that a person is exempt from council tax if they have a ''severe mental impairment'' - meaning if you have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent.

To get this, you need a doctor, psychiatrist or social worker to sign a medical certificate that says you are ''severely mentally impaired''.

To qualify for SMI you also need to be receiving a qualifying benefit. This can be achieved through Universal credit (if including an element for limited capability for work or limited capability for work or work related activity).

You may be entitled to help with your council tax payments if you are liable for council tax and claim Universal Credit. Your local authority runs these schemes for reducing council tax. You can get help if you're eligible through:

How to apply for a Council Tax exemption/reduction

You should apply for a Council Tax exemption or reduction through your local Council.

A Council Tax exemption or reduction is often not backdated, meaning if you're claiming Universal Credit for the first time you should apply for the exemption/reduction immediately.

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