The post-pandemic era has impacted recipients of benefits such as Personal Independence Payments (PIP) or council tax reductions more than ever before. The reason for this impact is primarily rising rates of inflation doubled with an increase in unemployment levels. What we aim to achieve through the next few paragraphs is to ascertain (a) whether or not council tax reduction has an impact on PIP and (b) the process through which individuals may confirm their eligibility for these benefits.

To start things off, let’s understand that if an individual receives PIP, they may be entitled to additional money on top of their existing benefits; which includes a reduction in certain taxes as well as travel discounts. What we will discuss here is the eligibility criteria and process for PIP applications. However, it must be noted that councils in England have their own Council Tax reduction scheme, while those in Scotland and Wales follow their criterion. This means that the amount of assistance that an individual may avail varies as per the council area where they reside.

Can you get a council tax reduction on PIP?

Yes, if you are a recipient of PIP, you may easily become eligible for Council Tax Reduction as well. The reason for this is that the very aim of the PIP is to assist the vulnerable segments of the community. This may be achieved through different benefits being offered to those eligible; including CTR.

Through this blog post, we aim to have an understanding of the following details:

  • criteria for CTR eligibility
  • benefits of CTR
  • online calculation of CTR
  • disabilities that qualify for CTR 
  • criteria for PIP eligibility
  • PIP Test
  • PIP and mental health
  • process of the PIP application
  • preparation before applying for PIP

What is Council Tax Reduction?

As the name suggests, Council Tax Reduction is a discount in your Council Tax bill based on the fulfillment of the below criteria on behalf of the applicant:

  • income 
  • size of the family 
  • other adults who share premises 
  • the amount of Council Tax to be paid 

According to this, the lower the income of an individual, the more your bill can be reduced by Council Tax Reduction. If applicants qualify for the maximum reduction, they may even become eligible for a 100% reduction in their bill. 

What are the benefits of CTR?

The Council Tax Reduction scheme; commonly referred to as CTR, is specifically designed to protect vulnerable groups of the community who may require support and assistance. These groups include individuals who are:

  • living on pensions
  • challenged with disabilities
  • belong to low-income households with children
  • catering the responsibility of carers
  • receiving either a War Disablement Pension, War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

The calculation of CTR is based on applicants’:

  • age bracket
  • current household circumstances; includes residency status, number of children, number of other adults sharing a household
  • total household income inclusive of any benefits, savings, or pensions that they may be receiving

How does one calculate individual CTR?

However, the actual amount of Council Tax Reduction one can get depends on their income as well as personal circumstances. For instance, if an individual receives income support, job seekers allowance, or employment and support allowance, they become eligible for 75 percent of the total Council Tax charge and will be required to pay 25 percent.

A simple click on the following link helps to assess whether an individual is eligible to apply for a Council Tax Reduction  Apply for a Council Tax discount

What category of disabilities qualifies for CTR?

In order to be eligible for CTR, the claimant’s residence must be shared with someone who has a substantial disability of permanent nature. The condition may be caused by an injury, illness, congenital deformity, or any other substantial reason(s). 

Claimants may be able to able to qualify if the following disability provisions are made available in their household:

  • sufficient space for a wheelchair to be used indoors
  • a specific room being used by the disabled person
  • an extra kitchen space or bathroom required by the disabled person

What is PIP?

PIP (Personal Independence Payment) is a benefit intended for people aged 16 years and above; aimed to cover the additional daily costs of living with a long-term disability or illness; be it a physical or mental health condition. It is gradually replacing DLA (Disability Living Allowance) by providing recipients with: 

  • extra money in addition to their prevailing benefits 
  • a reduction in their Council Tax or Road Tax bills 
  • discounts on travel

What is the PIP test?

This is a test that helps the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in deciding whether an applicant is entitled to becoming a recipient of Personal Independence Payment (PIP). 

Essentially, there are two sections in the PIP test: one that accounts for daily living and the other, mobility.

Claimants may use this self-assessment tool to confirm eligibility Take the PIP test

Who may qualify for PIP eligibility?

Prior to one being able to claim PIP, there is an assessment by a health professional to calculate exactly how much help the potential applicant needs. The amount they receive is based upon the circumstances of their condition and how it affects them. 

To confirm eligibility, the applicant must:

  • have lived in the UK for two out of the past three years
  • belong to the age bracket of 16 years and retirement age
  • experience difficulty with managing daily tasks for the past three months
  • expect these conditions to prevail for at least nine months in the future

Claimants may be able to receive a premium on the following benefits as well if they are eligible for PIP:

  • income support
  • jobseeker’s allowance
  • working tax credit
  • employment and support allowance 
  • pension credit 
  • housing benefit

Can individuals undergoing depression claim PIP?

Individuals challenged with mental health issues may qualify for a daily living allowance under PIP; however, health professionals may consider the impact of their condition to perform the following tasks:

  • preparing or eating food
  • dressing and undressing
  • washing, bathing, and using the toilet
  • managing their medicines and treatment
  • making decisions about money
  • communication and engagement with other people

How to apply for PIP?

Step 1

To apply for their PIP claims, applicants are required to place a call to the Department for Work and Pensions who are authorized to confirm eligibility. During this call, the department representative may ask questions from the claimant regarding the information required in the following areas:

  • date of birth
  • national insurance number
  • phone number and address
  • account details of bank or building society account
  • name of doctor or health worker
  • dates that the applicant has traveled abroad
  • dates that the applicant has been in a hospital or care home

Should applicants choose to include supporting evidence in their claim, they may include the following:

  • current prescriptions
  • current or former medical records
  • relevant sick notes
  • letters from medical professionals (doctors/nurses/carers)
  • letters from people who help them (carers/friends/family/neighbors)
  • diary of the daily schedule

Step 2

Once an applicant’s claim is approved by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), they send across the form and an information booklet via post. To have a fair idea of the contents of the form, the following link may be of use in viewing a sample: Personal Independence Payment How your disability affects you Information Booklet

Step 3

Once the form has been duly filled and submitted by the applicant, the next step entails receiving a confirmation letter from DWP. Upon receipt of the confirmation letter, claimants will be asked to appear for a medical assessment. These appointments generally go on for about one hour but the duration may be expected to be longer or shorter; varying from individual to individual.

Step 4

At the next stage, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decides whether or not the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim is eligible or not. 

This decision depends upon the information provided via:

  • claim form filled by the applicant
  • support evidence or documents sent with the claim form
  • notes that were taken by the Health Professional during the medical assessment

Once a decision is made, the DWP sends a letter to the claimants to inform them of their decision. This serves as a written confirmation of whether the applicant will receive PIP, which PIP components they will get, and at which rate, as well as the number of points, scored in the PIP test.

How does one prepare their PIP claim?

Although several DLA recipients qualify for PIP it isn’t guaranteed. To prepare their PIP claim, applicants may start with:

  • looking at their DLA claim forms for necessary details
  • gathering medical evidence of how their condition is affecting them 
  • keeping a diary of ones’ good and bad days to get an idea of what they will be assessed on
  • making a list of the details of any aids or appliances used in your everyday life 

To start one’s application for PIP, individuals may call the PIP claim line:

Telephone: 0800 917 2222

Textphone: 0800 917 7777

FAQs: Can you get a council tax reduction on PIP

What category of disabilities qualifies for council tax reduction?

In order to be eligible for CTR, the claimant’s residence must be shared with someone who has a substantial disability of permanent nature. The condition may be caused by an injury, illness, congenital deformity, or any other substantial reason(s). 

What else can you claim if you get PIP?

Recipients of PIP may additionally be eligible for additional money through Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance, Housing Benefit, Working Tax Credit, Employment and Support Allowance as well as Pension Credit.

Are disabled exempt from council tax?

If the applicant is disabled or sharing their home with someone who has a disability and their place of residence has been adapted to meet specific disability needs, then they may be eligible for exemption from council tax. The person can be of any age and need not be the one liable to pay the council tax bill. 

Do carers pay council tax?

If carers are living in the same property as the person that they are responsible for, they may be eligible for a council tax discount. In this case, the person being cared for must not be the husband/wife/civil partner or child (under 18) of the carer.

Do you pay council tax if you have Alzheimer’s?

According to council tax rules, persons with severe mental impairment (including Alzheimer’s) qualify for a discount or at times, complete exemption from council tax. A reduction in CTR is applicable for those sharing a home with an Alzheimer’s patient.

References:

Extra money and help PIP entitles you to

People on PIP may be eligible for a huge range of other benefits and discounts

Help with Council Tax & rates

PIP rates for mental health: Can you get PIP for mental health?

Example of Council Tax Reduction calculation

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Assessment

Claiming Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – Start your PIP claim

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