Who is entitled to the Single Person Discount on Council Tax in Northern Ireland?

This blog answers the question “Who is entitled to the single person discount on council tax in Northern Ireland?” It states the age and occupancy requirements for the Lone Pensioner Allowance in Northern Ireland.

Who Is Entitled To The Single Person Discount On Council Tax In Northern Ireland?

The following tenants and homeowners, aged 70 and above are eligible for a council tax reduction of 20% in Northern Ireland:

  • If you are living alone on the property
  • If you are just living with a care provider who is other than your spouse
  • If you are living with one or more residents under the age of 18
  • If someone who normally lives on your property with you is admitted to the hospital permanently or is in long term care
  • If you are providing care for someone who lives with you, other than your spouse
  • If you are living with a person with severe mental impairment, including your spouse

Here is the lone pensioner allowance application form for Northern Ireland. You can print it out and mail it to:

Land and Property Services,

Lone Pensioner Allowance

Lanyon Plaza

7 Lanyon Place

Town Parks



The personal information to be filled in this form includes your occupancy ID, ratepayer ID, property reference, your full name, the address of your property, your national insurance number, date of birth, photocopy of any identification document like your passport, details of the cohabitants of your property if you don’t live alone.

Can I claim the single pensioner’s allowance if I have 15 severely mentally impaired residents living in my secondary residence?

No, the Single Pensioners Allowance is only applicable to your primary residence. The tax discount in Northern Ireland for mentally impaired occupants of a property is awarded separately from the single-person discount.

 Being the owner of the residence which is occupied by severely mentally impaired persons, you could be entitled to a council tax reduction of up to 25% on your bill.

Am I eligible for claiming the Single Pensioners Allowance in Northern Ireland if my property has been damaged by fire?

Yes, if your property is still occupiable and can be economically repaired, the Single Pensioners Allowance still applies to it.

But if the fire has damaged your residence so badly that it is rendered uninhabitable, you will end up being given the Discretionary Hardship Award under Section 13 A to help you cover the costs of council tax.

 The repairs to be conducted to restore your property (to make it occupiable) must be clearly mentioned in your application and so should the expenses you have already made to fix it.

These unforeseen circumstances will make you eligible for the Discretionary Hardship Award if you can prove that there is no other source of income or savings or council tax benefits that you can use to cover the costs of your tax bill.

Before applying for the Discretionary Hardship Allowance (which must be a last resort) you can apply to the Valuation Office Agency for changing the band your property is currently in for calculating council tax. 

This change in rateable value (which is the rental value of a property if it was rented on the basis that the tenant pays for all the repairs for your property) will be made only if the property is so uneconomic to repair that its major structure has been damaged and it could only be restored to its former state by spending a substantial amount of money.

You will still be allowed to claim the Single Pensioners Allowance if your property is damaged beyond repair, once the expenses for its furnishing have been covered (through benefits support or your own spending). It will probably remain empty in the interim period (12 months or more) and you might be granted a complete exemption from council tax.

Once it is habitable again, former council tax rules and allowances will apply to your bill.

If I am living with someone who gets the Single Pensioners Allowance on their primary residence and spends 1 month of the year with me, do I still qualify as living alone?

Yes, you are still eligible to receive the Single Pensioners Allowance if another adult or pensioner occupies your property for less than 6 weeks a year. This also means that your home is their second residence and does not affect the Single Pensioners Allowance.

They will continue to receive their 25% discount for living alone in their primary residence and you will get a 25% reduction on your council tax bill.

Am I eligible for also claiming the Single Pensioners Allowance if I am already getting Guaranteed Pension Credit?

Yes, you can claim both council tax benefits together if you live alone and are above the age of 75 years. 

The Single Pensioners Allowance will only give you a 25% discount on council tax but if you qualify for getting Guaranteed Pension Credit (which is unaffected by the number of residents of a property or the number of non-occupants) you will be able to claim a 100% council tax reduction. To be eligible for Guaranteed Pension Credit, your weekly income should be under £182.60 and savings should be under £16000

Will my Single Pensioner Allowance be canceled if my relative moves in with me permanently during the year?

Yes, your Single Pensioner Allowance will not be applicable once your relative moves in with you. Council tax should be informed immediately of this change in circumstances ( as the income of the new cohabitant will alter your tax entitlement).

If you fail to inform the Department for Work and Pensions of this relative moving in with you within the course of the year, they will still recover the underpaid council tax from you as fines at the end of the year.

Will I qualify for the Single Pensioner Allowance in Northern Ireland if I divorce my spouse and the property remains in my ownership?

Yes, if your circumstances or status changes to being a Lone Pensioner*over 75 pension age taxpayer), you will be eligible to receive the Single Pensioner Allowance in Northern Ireland. Until the property is owned by you and your spouse jointly, neither of you is eligible for the Single Pensioner Allowance.

You will need to provide proof of your separation and mention the date from which your spouse has moved out.

Will I not remain eligible for the Single Pensioner Allowance of Northern Ireland if I decide to marry my care provider, who is also the only one living with me?

You will not be able to receive the Single Pensioner Allowance of Northern Ireland once you are engaged with your care provider (who was not counted as a resident previously). Now the property will be jointly owned by both you and your spouse and so her income will also be counted on your council tax bill.

I had been receiving the Married Person’s Allowance in conjunction with my spouse for the past 10 years. Now my spouse has died and I live alone, can I claim the Single Pensioner Allowance of Northern Ireland?

Yes, you can claim the Single Pensioner Allowance (provided you are aged 70 and above). Getting the Married Person’s Allowance for the past 10 years does not affect your chances of getting the Single Person’s Allowance now as you qualify to live alone. If you were receiving the Married Person’s Allowance, you will now be getting both these benefits for this year, as the death of your spouse still entitles you to receive the allowance for this year.

As long as you continue to live alone and your circumstances do not change, you will continue to be eligible to get the Single Pensioner’s Allowance of Northern Ireland (which is a 20% tax reduction). Whereas the Married Person’s Allowance was income based support the Single Pensioner’s Allowance is fixed.


This blog post addressed the question “Who is entitled to the Single Person Discount on Council Tax in Northern Ireland?” All tenants and homeowners aged 70 or over who live alone can claim the Single Pensioner Allowance in Northern Ireland (as its claimants are all above the age of 60 they are also pensioners)

Please feel free to comment on the content or ask any questions in the comments section below :

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) : Who is entitled to the Single Person Discount on Council Tax in Northern Ireland?

What is a precept?

Precepts are individual charges shown separately on your council tax bill. They are imposed by different authorities on the residents of a council. It is not possible to pay the council tax bill and refuse the precept

The following authorities are classified as major precepting authorities in the UK:

  • County councils (in two-tier areas)
  • Fire authorities (where these are separate bodies instead of council departments)
  • Police and Crime Commissioners
  • The Greater London Authority

The following authorities are classified as local precepting authorities in the UK :

  • Parish and town councils
  • Parish Meetings
  • Charter Trustees

I’ve extended my property, will my council tax go up?

No, the extension of your property will not change the amount of your council tax bill. If the extension or reconstruction of your property requires it to stay vacant for more than 6 months or 2 years (at most), your council tax will go up for that period.

If you continue to live in your house while it is being extended or renovated your council tax entitlement will stay the same.

When your property is sold its value will be reconsidered and set based on improvements and extensions to the structure. Then once the “relevant transaction”has taken place to make the property change hands it’s worth in the Council Tax Valuation List may be increased.

What items are counted as capital and savings that are not recorded until 6 months?

  • Any money you use to carry out repairs or improvements to your home or you plan to use for repairing or replacing damaged items. If you or your partner are pension age this amount will be ignored for one year from the date you receive it
  • Any property you have inherited and still plan to use as your home
  • Your previous home if you are separated from your partner (from the date it was left empty)
  • Any property which you are trying to sell , from the date you intend to put it up for sale is not counted as savings
  • Any property which needs to be repaired before you put it up for sale (from the date of start of repairs)
  • Any money you have received from selling your previous home, which you will use to purchase a new home. (if you or your partner are pension age)
  • Any property where you have started legal proceedings against the person who was living in it to get possession of it (not counted from the date you have started legal proceedings)


Northern Ireland Council tax

Council Tax Reduction Northern Ireland