What is a Council Tax reduction for disabled people? How does it work? Am I eligible for a reduction or exemption if I am disabled? How can I claim them? Your Benefits will walk you through how Council Tax works, as well as the reductions and exemptions you can earn if you live with or live with someone with a disability.
What is Council Tax reduction for disability?
If you or someone you live with is disabled, you might qualify for a Council Tax reduction for disabled people or exemption. In other words, if your home would not need to be as large if you or another occupant were not disabled.
For example, if your home qualifies for Band D, the rate you would pay would be for rate C. If your home qualifies for Band E, you would pay the rate for valuation Band D, and so on. If your home is in the lowest band, which is Band A, your Council Tax bill will receive a 17% reduction.
In order to qualify for the scheme, you will need to show that you either:
- Have an extra bathroom, kitchen or some other room that is needed for the disabled person;
- Your property has extra space to accommodate for a wheelchair.
This rule ensures that disabled people do not overpay. Indeed, they might live in a home that needs to be larger than usual, to accommodate for their disability.
Let’s illustrate this by an example. Say that you live in Peterborough, and are bound to a wheelchair. The value of your home for the valuation band is £90,000, putting you in Band E.
However, because you are in a wheelchair, your property also accommodates this. Then, because your property is larger, your valuation band goes from valuation Band E to valuation Band D. In the city of Peterborough, the average amount paid by Band D households is £1,825.18.
Severe mental impairment Council Tax reduction
If you or someone you live with is severely mentally impaired, you may be eligible for a Council Tax Reduction.
You will need to provide the following documents:
- A certificate from a medical professional, such as your General Practitioner, which confirms you are severely mentally impaired;
- Proof of your eligibility for certain benefits. You will need to do this step with the help of your local council.
You will either get a 100% reduction or 25% reduction.
100% Council Tax reduction for disabled people
It could be that you qualify if you are severely mentally impaired and one of the following applies to your situation:
- You live by yourself;
- You live only with your carer (which is not your partner, spouse or underage child);
- Any other adults living with you are either also severely mentally impaired or a full-time student.
25% Council Tax reduction for disabled people
You qualify if someone you live with is severely mentally impaired and one of the following applies to your situation:
- No other adults live in your household;
- Anyone else living in your household is “disregarded”.
Let’s look at an example. George suffers from Schizophrenia and lives with his child, an 18 year old full-time student in university. George lives in Peterborough, in a house whose value is estimated at £95,000. As such, his property qualifies for valuation band D.
Now let’s say that George lives with his 17 year old son. Since his 17 year old son is under 18 years old, he is considered ‘disregarded’. Now, because the other person living with him is considered ‘disregarded’, he qualifies for a 25% reduction. Since the average band D household pays £1,825.18 in the city, he will pay around £1,368.88.
How to apply for Council Tax Reduction for disability
You first need to find your local council. You may fill in a form, or do your application online. Some local councils also allow you to apply by phone. Find your local council website. From there, they will have instructions on how to apply for a reduction or exemption.
If you are already paying this tax, you do not need to wait until you are fully eligible for this tax Reduction. More specifically, you are able to apply 13 weeks before you become eligible for Council Tax Reduction.
What is the Council Tax?
Council tax is the tax based on the value of your home, which allows local councils to fund the services that they provide and maintain. Examples of what Council Tax is used for includes: maintaining roads, street lamps, street cleaning, and rubbish collection. Your property must be situated in England, Wales or Scotland. Council Tax is valued in bands, which are the following:
|Council Tax valuation bands in 2022
|Range of home values
|Up to £40,000
|Over £40,000 to £52,000
|Over £52,000 to £68,000
|Over £68,000 to £88,000
|Over £88,000 to £120,000
|Over £120,000 to £160,000
|Over £160,000 to £320,000
What may affect my valuation band?
How much is charged for every Council Tax band may change from local council to local council. There are also Council Tax reductions for disabled people.
Your property might move valuation bands if the following applies to your situation, you:
- Destroy and do not rebuild part of your property;
- Change your property to create 2 or more different self-contained units, in which case each unit will have its own valuation band;
- Split up one property into self-contained flats;
- Combine flats to turn them into one single property;
- Either start or stop working from home;
- Have previous owners that changed your property in one way or another;
- Live in an area that is undergoing significant changes, like the building of a new road;
- Have a similar property has had its Council Tax valuation band changed in your area.
Do I have to pay Council Tax?
Individuals over the age of 18 usually have to pay Council Tax. A full Council Tax bill is based on 2 adults living in a property at minimum. Two individuals like spouses and partners living together are jointly responsible for paying Council Tax.
When calculating how many people are living in a property, some may be counted as “disregarded”. If you are counted as such, you may be able to apply for a reduction (or even exemption) on your Council Tax bill. The following conditions will count you as disregarded, if you are:
- Under 18 years old;
- Training under certain apprenticeships;
- In full-time education and 18 or 19 years old;
- A full-time student at college or university;
- Get funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency and are under 25 years old;
- A Nursing student;
- A foreign language assistant registered with the British Council;
- Severely mentally impaired;
- A live-in carer for someone other than your partner, spouse, or child under 18;
- Are a diplomat.
If everyone in your home is disregarded, you will get a 50% discount. You will earn a 25% discount off if you pay Council Tax and if either of the following apply:
- You live by yourself;
- Everyone else in your home but you is disregarded.