Carers may be eligible for a reduction of their council tax bill, depending on their circumstances. In some cases reductions, discounts and exemptions can be backdated.
Single person’s discount
If you live alone in your home you will be entitled to a 25% single person’s discount.
If you are a carer living with the person you care for, you can claim a carers discount. It is only available to carers who care for an adult child, elderly parent or a friend (so not your spouse, partner or child under 18 years old). The carer is disregarded for council tax leaving one person (the cared for) to whom the single person discount is applied.
You must be providing 35 hours or more care per week and the person you care for must be in receipt of:
- Disability Living Allowance (higher rate care)
- Attendance Allowance (higher rate) or
- Personal Independence Payment (enhanced rate of daily living component).
Severe Mental Impairment
If two adults are living at home (regardless of their relationship), and one has a severe mental impairment, that person will be disregarded for council tax and the single person discount will be applied. The person with the mental impairment must complete a form, get it signed by their GP and return it to the council tax department to confirm their illness.
Disabled Person’s Reduction
This is not a discount. You can get a reduction of one band on your council tax (eg. if you are on band B you will get a reduction to band A).
It is available if:
- a disabled person needs to use a wheelchair indoors
- there is a second bathroom/kitchen needed by the disabled person
- there is a room (other than a bathroom, toilet or kitchen) needed and predominantly used by the disabled person.
Council Tax Reduction
From April 2013 Council Tax Benefit will be replaced by local Council Tax Reduction schemes run by local authorities. Council Tax Reductions are different to Council Tax Discounts (as described above). Each local authority will design its own scheme and decide who it supports with paying their Council Tax bill. New claims for Council Tax Reduction should still be made to your local council as normal. If you currently get Council Tax Benefit you will be transferred over to the new scheme automatically.
Support and Advice for Carers
For advice on benefits and other financial matters, book an appointment at one of VOCAL’s free Money Matters surgeries.Contact VOCAL