Calculation of housing benefit and council tax reduction

Alternative maximum council tax reduction

Alternative maximum council tax reduction (previously known as second adult rebate) is a separate scheme for anyone who has reached state pension credit age and cannot get council tax reduction because their income is too high. You can claim if you have one or more adults living with you who have a low income, as long as they are not:

  • Paying you rent
  • Your husband, wife or partner
  • Responsible for paying council tax.

How to claim 

To apply for alternative maximum council tax reduction you must complete an online claim form

If you are not able to complete an online claim straight away you can register your intention to claim by starting the online claim and selecting the ‘save for later’ option. Once you have registered your intention to claim you must complete the online claim form and provide all the evidence required within one month of the date of your claim. You can also register your intention to claim by telephoning the benefits service on 020 8825 7000. 

Information required to calculate your alternative maximum council tax reduction

We need to know the gross weekly income of the other adult or adults living with you, ie their wages before tax and National Insurance are deducted. We do not take your own income into account.

We also need to know the amount of interest your other adult or adults get on their savings. We do not need to know how much their savings are.

The highest level of maximum alternative council tax reduction you can receive is normally 25% of the full council tax bill before any discounts are taken off.  However if there is a student in the household you may be entitled to over 25%.

If the gross income before tax (income before tax and national insurance) of the other adults added together is more than the government’s threshold you will not qualify for second adult rebate.