Self-employed claims for housing benefit and council tax reduction

If you are self employed, you can claim housing benefit and/or council tax reduction.  Only people who have reached pension credit age can claim second adult rebate. We will require proof of your income.

If you are already claiming housing and/or council tax reduction and you become self-employed, you will not need to complete a new application form, but you will have to provide proof of your self-employed income as detailed below.

How self employed income is assessed

When calculating your benefit entitlement we need to work out your average weekly income from your business after deducting tax and national insurance contributions, and half of any private pension contributions that you pay.

If you have been trading for over a year you must provide profit and loss accounts – certified if possible, together with proof of your latest national insurance and tax assessment.  

For council tax reduction purposes once you have been self-employed for 12 months and your income is below the UK minimum hourly wage, your council tax reduction will be calculated in one of the following ways:

  • for single people and members of couples – hourly minimum wage (calculated as if you are 25 years of age or older) x 35 hours per week
  • for lone parents – hourly minimum wage x 16 hours per week

Couples with dependent children where both are self-employed:

  • hourly minimum wage x 35 hours per week for one member and hourly minimum wage x 16 hours per week for the other member.

If your self-employed income is higher than the hourly minimum wage then we will use your actual income to calculate your council tax reduction.

Maximum council tax reduction:  Most working age people cannot receive council tax reduction of more than 75% of their liability – exceptions apply.  


The income of self-employed childminders is assessed in a specific way. Business expenses are not deducted. Instead, two thirds of the childminder’s total earnings are disregarded in lieu of income tax, national insurance and payments into a private pension.