Council Tax Support

Council Tax

Important Information Regarding Coronavirus
The coronavirus has affected most, if not all Waltham Forest residents. This is likely to be the case for a considerable period of time. The Council has taken a number of measures to assist people if and when they are affected.

We have temporarily relaxed our policy regarding the level of evidence you need to provide to claim Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support if you are affected by the coronavirus. This applies if you;
•    Have, or think you have, contracted it
•    Are caring for somebody who may have contracted
•    Are self isolating and
•    During periods of national or local lockdown

You will no longer have to provide original documents in support of a claim. We will accept images or copies although you will have to provide originals at a later date.

You must, wherever possible, use our evidence upload form.

The Council is facing unprecedented demand on its services and our caller centre will be particularly busy.  If at all possible you should use our online facilities using the links below as opposed to making contact by telephone.

You can claim Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support online although if you are of working age you will probably have to claim help with your housing costs through Universal Credit on the GOV.UK website.

If you are already receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support you can tell us about any changes in your circumstances by completing the change in circumstances form.

If you are already receiving help with your housing costs, whether through housing benefit or Universal Credit or if you are receiving Council Tax Support we may be able to provide you with additional help if you find your financial situation has worsened as a result of the coronavirus.  Again, this applies whether you think you have contracted it, are caring for somebody who may have contracted it or are self isolating.  If you are already receiving discretionary help we may be able to increase your award.  Find out more about discretionary payments on the  GOV.UK website.

You can find more information about coronavirus and claiming benefits from the Department for Works and Pensions on the Understanding Universal Credit website.

For the financial year 2021/2022, anyone under the eligible pension age who is liable to pay Council Tax will have to pay at least 24 per cent of their Council Tax bill.

Pensioners will continue to receive support up to 100 per cent of their Council Tax bill

If you’re struggling to pay your Council Tax, you could qualify for help to reduce your Council Tax bill with the Discretionary Council Tax Hardship Scheme.

For more information on the Waltham Forest Council Tax Support scheme please refer to the following documents.

You will usually get some of your Council Tax paid (unless there other adults living with you) if you receive:

  • income-based Jobseekers' Allowance, or
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Guaranteed Pension Credit

You can also get some Council Tax Support if you’re on a low income. The amount you get will depend on:

  • your income
  • the amount of council tax you have to pay
  • the amount of money you and your family need to live on
  • whether other adults share your home

The maximum help that working-age people can receive is to get 76 per cent of their bill paid, which means that you have to pay at least 24 per cent yourself.

Working age people can't normally get Council Tax Support if they have savings of £6,000 or more, and this savings limit increases to £16,000 for pensioners. 

This section explains how we calculate your income if:

  • you’re self-employed
  • you’ve been trading for more than 12 months

We use this when:

  • you’re making a new claim for Council Tax Support
  • we carry our annual reviews of your self-employed earnings

How we calculate your income

We assume that your total income is the same as the National Minimum Wage. We will multiply this hourly rate by 36, to get the weekly rate.

We’ll work out how much income tax and National Insurance would be deducted from these earnings, and then we use this ‘net amount’ to calculate your income for Council Tax Support.

This change doesn’t’ affect self employed pensioners or how your Housing Benefit is worked out.

For more information please see page 44 of Draft provisions for working age people​​ (1.3Mb PDF)

Current National Minimum Wage rates - 1 April 2020

Age group

National minimum wage (hourly)

Weekly rate (x36 hours)

25 and over



21 to 24



18 to 20



Under 18







We won’t assume that you earn the National Minimum wage if any of the following apply.

If you get any of these benefits:

  • middle or higher rate of either component of Disability Living Allowance
  • the daily living component, or the enhanced rate of the mobility component, of a Personal Independence Payment
  • Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment for a child who is a member of your household
  • Carers’ Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit

If you have an illness or incapacity that means any of the following apply:

  • You, or a member of your household, have cancer or a similar condition
  • your doctor has certified that you are incapacitated and can’t work for up to six months

If you’re being rehoused:

  • if you’ve been rehoused in temporary accommodation by a Housing Authority, we won’t assume the National Minimum Wage for 12 months
  • if you’ve moved, been rehoused, or are occupying two homes because of domestic violence, we won’t assume the National Minimum Wage for up to 12 months

If you’ve had a temporary reduction in income:

  • if you’ve been self-employed for two years and your income has significantly reduced because of circumstances beyond your control, then we’ll consider not assuming the National Minimum wage for you, for up to 12 months. To do this, we must be sure this reduction is temporary and you’re taking steps to increase your earnings

How to dispute a decision

Please see the section on this page called ‘If you disagree with our decision’, if:

  • any of these exemptions apply and you want to tell us about them
  • you don’t agree with the decision we’ve given you

If you’re suffering severe financial hardship, you can apply for a discretionary reduction of Council Tax.

Use our benefits calculator to get an estimate of how much Council Tax Support or Second Adult Reduction you could get. You can use the information you entered in the calculator to start your claim form if you want to apply.

You can claim Council Tax Support if you’re responsible for paying the Council Tax on your home.

Apply for Council Tax Support

If you don’t have access to a computer at home, you can use a PC for free at one of our LibraryPlus libraries.

Visit us at Leyton Library, Leytonstone Library, North Chingford Library or Walthamstow Library to:

  • Make an online claim for Council Tax Support using our self-service PCs
  • Report a change in your circumstances if you are already claiming benefit
  • Drop off evidence and information to support your benefit claim

You can only drop off evidence at the libraries Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm regardless of the particular library's opening hours.

Home visit from the benefits team

If you are housebound and don’t have any family or friends who can help you, call us on 020 8496 3000. Request a visit and briefly explain why you need one.

Providing evidence to support your claim

Once you’ve sent your claim form you may be asked to provide evidence to support your claim.

How to provide evidence to support your claim

There are a number of self service tasks that tenants, owner-occupiers and landlords can do online with our Benefits Connect self service.  It offers you fast access to your details, including support claims, payments and how we calculate benefits.

You need to tell us about a move or change in your circumstances, so you can make sure you're paying the right amount of council tax and getting the right benefit.  Visit our tell us about changes in your circumstances page to learn more.

Non-dependant deductions Click to get info

If you have other people over the age of 18 living with you it may affect the amount of council tax support you get as they are expected to pay towards housing costs.

The person may be a:

  • relative
  • friend
  • a child that you no longer get child benefit for.

They are called ‘non-dependants’.

We take set amounts off the support amount you get depending on their income.

Even if your non-dependant doesn’t give you anything, or you don’t want to take anything, according to the local authority’s council tax support scheme, we still have to take the set amounts off the weekly support amount you get.  

Non-dependant deductions from April 2021

Pension Age Claimants

Non dependant’s Income

Amount Deducted

Income Support, State Pension Credit, an income-based jobseeker’s allowance or an income-related employment and support allowance


Not working or earning less than £217 per week


More than £216.99 but less than £377.00


More than £376.99 but less than £469.00


£469.00 or greater


Working Age Claimant

Non dependant’s Income

Amount Deducted

Income Support, State Pension Credit, an income-based jobseeker’s allowance or an income-related employment and support allowance


Not working or earning less than £201.58 per week


Earning between £201.58 and £349.87 per week


Earning between £349.88 and £435.53 per week


Earning more than £435.53 per week



We do not make a deduction for any non-dependant if you or your partner is:

  • registered blind
  • getting attendance / constant attendance allowance
  • getting the care component of disability living allowance (DLA)
  • getting the standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of personal independence payment (PIP)
  • getting armed forces independence payment

In addition some persons are ignored for council tax purposes if they:

  • are under 18
  • are aged 18-20 and you get child benefit for them
  • are on a work based training for young people and getting a training allowance
  • are a full time student or student nurse
  • have been in hospital for more than 52 weeks
  • have a severe mental impairment
  • are in legal custody
  • usually live elsewhere

Please visit our about council tax page for more information on the council tax disregards and discounts available.

Changes in circumstances

You need to tell us if the non-dependant’s circumstances change and complete an on-line change in circumstances form.

If the other adult has moved, please ensure that you tell us their new address.

Second Adult Reduction Click to get info

You can claim a Second Adult Reduction of up to 25 per cent if you share your home with one or more adults who are:

  • over 18 and not paying you rent
  • not your spouse or partner
  • not responsible for paying the Council Tax
  • receive certain benefits, such as Job Seekers Allowance or Income Support, or are on a low income

Your own income and savings aren’t taken into account.

If you're in significant financial or personal hardship you may be able to claim a discretionary reduction of Council Tax.

If you’re paid too much Council Tax Support, we’ll write and tell you. The letter will explain:

  • why we gave you too much support
  • the amount of overpayment
  • if you have to pay back that amount
  • how you can appeal this decision

If the amount of Council Tax you have to pay changes we will send you an updated bill showing your new payments.

If you disagree with a decision about your Council Tax Support, you can: 

  • ask for an explanation of how we calculated your benefit
  • ask us to look at the decision again

You can challenge the council's decision concerning: 

  • your entitlement to a Council Tax Reduction under the scheme, or
  • the amount of the reduction which you are entitled

Your request should include the reason and grounds for the challenge and the period it relates to.  Any additional evidence to support the challenge should also be provided.

Challenges must be made to the council as soon as possible after notification of the decision.

Once a challenge is received the council will consider the request and provide a written outcome within two months.

Complete the Council Tax Support decision revision and appeal form

If you're still dissatisfied with our decision you may, within two months, appeal to the Valuation Tribunal:

Valuation Tribunal Service 
Hepworth House
2 Trafford Court


Please note: The Valuation Tribunal cannot hear appeals about the content of the scheme, only about the way that the scheme has been applied to your individual case.

Covid-19 update:

Libraries, along with many other Council services continue to be impacted by Covid-19.  The link below will enable you to access up-to-date information about our libraries and the services they are currently able to offer.
You must use our on-line facilities to access benefits services wherever possible.

Up-to-date information about our libraries.

If you don't have access to a computer, you can visit a Library Plus branch where you can use a self-service pc to log your request/report. Staff are available to support you if you need it.​​​​​​​

Please make a note of the 10-character form reference in case you need to ask us something. You can also use this reference to go back to a partially completed form.

Once you have answered the questions on all of the pages, click ‘Show Errors’ to confirm that the form is complete. Any pages with errors or omissions will be shown. Click on the page number to go to that page where the issue will be highlighted.

You can attach any evidence required by clicking ‘Upload & Attach File’.

If you get stuck, and cannot submit the form, please use the ‘Contact Us’ option to send us a message. If you send us the form reference we will be able to help you more quickly.

Once any errors have been resolved you can securely submit the form by clicking ‘Submit’.

When we have received your form, you will see a confirmation message on your screen. We will send you an email to confirm receipt of your application.

Contact Click to get info

Revenues and Benefits Service

London Borough of Waltham Forest 
PO Box 856 
E17 9PN 

Phone: 020 8496 3000