Town hall chiefs say they are being forced to make changes to the council tax support scheme, meaning that people of working age who previously did not have to pay anything will have to pay at least 12.5 per cent of the property bill.
Council bosses say they can no longer afford to maintain the same level of council tax support.
The Government abolished its pot of funding for local authorities to subsidise those who were exempt from paying a few years ago.
Bolton Council used £1m of its own money to continue the scheme at the same level — but now there will be a reduction in the support people receive.
Cllr Cliff Morris, leader of Bolton Council, said: “Unfortunately, the council must continue to make savings year on year and as part of this we have had to re-examine our council tax support scheme.
“We were originally due to introduce these changes in 2016, but delayed it by a year to allow residents to prepare for this. We appreciate that these changes to the council tax support scheme will cause concern to some residents and we will be providing them with as much information and support as possible.”
Under the changes, claimants who currently do not pay any of their council tax bill will have to pay at least 12.5 per cent, whilst those who pay some council tax will be likely to have to pay more, depending on their circumstances and income.
Any residents who have savings or capital of £3000 or more will not be eligible for council tax support.
The changes to the scheme will affect around 17,000 households.
Of these, around 12,000 households who are currently on full council tax support will have to pay 12.5 per cent of their council tax from April.
So for example someone in a band A property who has not paid council tax will now have a bill of £133.22, which broken down equates to £11.10 a month or £2.56 per week.
The other 5,000 who already pay some of their council tax will have to pay more than they do now.
All claimants affected will receive a letter by the end of January, asking them to visit the council website for more information and to complete a form on how they would like to pay.