This blog answers the question “What disabilities qualify for council tax reduction?” It discusses in detail all the disabilities under which a person can claim for council tax reduction. It covers the procedure and further rules regarding the same.

What Disabilities Qualify For Council Tax Reduction?

Any and all conditions of a person caused as a result of an illness, injury, deformity etc., count as  disabilities that qualify for council tax reduction. The person suffering from the disability, however, must permanently live at the address, for it to be qualified for council tax reduction. 

Council Tax Disability Reduction

For any taxpayer who suffers with a disability, or who is living with a person with a disability, it takes an extra strain on him in all ways, one of those being financially. In this regard the government purports to lessen the burden of the taxpayer through its schemes for council tax reduction.

Often, the people having a disability need extra living space for their lifestyle. For that purpose, the government offers a scheme called Council Tax Disability Reduction designed to prevent those with disabilities from paying more tax as a result of the extra space they require.

In England each local council has its own Council Tax reduction scheme. This means that the amount of help that you can get varies depending on the council area where you live. The disabilities that qualify for council tax reduction and the requirements for the same depend upon your local council. Scotland and Wales each have their own national Council Tax reduction scheme. Therefore, you must apply for disabilities council tax reduction via your local council.

In case of extra space needed for a person with disability, the council charges the rate for a lower council tax band than the one under which the property originally comes.

Qualifying criteria

To qualify for receiving council tax reduction under this scheme, the taxpayer needs to prove that the home in question is the main home where a person with disability resides. It is necessary that the disabled person lives at the address permanently, regardless of the fact whether he is a child of the taxpayer, or an adult related to him, or just a relative or a friend.

It does not matter whether the person paying the tax does not need to be responsible for paying the council tax. The mere fact that the disabled person is permanently staying with the taxpayer is enough for him to qualify for council tax reduction, irrespective of his relation status with the latter.

There are several criteria to satisfy the eligibility of the property in question. The house in question must have at least one of the specified features for it to qualify for council tax reduction.

These features are:

  • An additional bathroom or kitchen in the property that has been specifically designed for use by the disabled person.

Merely the existence of a spare bathroom or a kitchen on the property does not qualify to avail the council tax reduction for disabilities. Such a bathroom or kitchen has to be essential to meet the needs of the person with disability.

  • A room, besides the bathroom or kitchen, which is required by and mainly used by the disabled person. This might consist of a room which has been designed or designated solely to be used for treatment or therapy for a disabled person, such as an inhouse rehabilitation room, a storage room for keeping specialist equipment, a room adapted for dialysis, etc.

This room does not need to be specially built for the usage of the disabled person. However, simply rearranging existing rooms, such as shifting your bedroom to the ground floor from the first floor, does not make your home qualify for disabilities council tax reduction.

  • Extra space in the property created or made for the disabled person to use a wheelchair indoors. The reduction in this case will only be given if the disabled person only uses the said wheelchair as their means of getting about inside the house.
  • Sufficient space made on the property for the use of a specialised buggy for young children indoors.

These additions can be anything that might be necessary for the wellbeing of the disabled person.

Such a feature of the house can be classified as one of major importance if :

  • The disabled person would find it physically impossible or extremely difficult to live in the property without such allotted space, or
  • Their health would suffer or their disability would be likely to become more severe if such space were not allotted to them

You can check whether you qualify or not for the disability reduction scheme on the government website.

What Does Not Qualify as a feature for Reduction

The following situations will not qualify to avail a council tax reduction for disabilities:

  • If one between a couple staying in a bedroom is disabled, in a two bedroomed property and if one of them decides to sleep in separate rooms because of the disabled person’s disability, it does not qualify for council tax reduction, unless the bedroom has been specifically adapted to meet the needs of the disabled person.
  • Someone living in a purpose-built disabled property would not qualify unless it has been adapted to meet the specific needs of the individual living there.
  • A person living in a two-storey house who has moved their bed into the lounge would not be eligible. This is because the room would also be used as a lounge in the same way as a ‘non-disabled’ household.
  • Quiet rooms, simply so stated, do not qualify as property used by disabled persons, unless the room has been converted or can be proved to be physically located in the most appropriate position in the house.

Disabled people

The disabilities which qualify to claim a disabilities reduction may be a permanent disability or a substantial disability.

This includes learning difficulties and mental health problems as well as physical disabilities.

Severe Mental Impairment

Severe mental impairment is defined as severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning that seems to be permanent, for example dementia. This impairment may be caused by any means, it does not matter for the purposes here. Such an impairment needs to be certified by a medical practitioner.

Such a person must also be eligible for at least one of the following state schemes or benefits, whether he is a recipient of one or not:

  • Incapacity Benefit 
  • Attendance Allowance 
  • Severe Disablement Allowance 
  • Care Component of the Disability Living Allowance that is payable at a higher or middle rate
  • Increased the rate of Disablement Pension 
  • Disability Working Allowance 
  • Any Unemployables supplement 
  • A Constant Attendance Allowance under the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme, 1983 or under Article 14 of the Naval, Military or Air Forces (Disablement & Death) Services Pension Order 
  • An Unemployables allowance under any of the above listed items
  • Income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium
  • Standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of personal independence payment
  • Universal credit including an amount in respect of limited capability of work or any work related activity.

All the persons who have been diagnosed as severely mentally impaired, do not need to claim any disability to qualify for council tax reduction. This is so because they do not have to pay any council tax.

In two-person households, where one person is severely mentally impaired, the taxpayer qualifies for a 25% discount for council tax reduction due to disabilities.

Care homes

Traditional domestic households are not the only ones that can benefit from the council tax reduction scheme for disabilities. The reductions are also available for care homes, hostels etc.

You can avail upto a 50% council tax discount based on disabilities  if you are a carer, depending on who else lives in your property.

Carer Discount

Care leavers are exempt from paying council tax if they are aged more than 18 and less than 25. Besides this, the care leavers living in Wales are also exempt from paying the council tax.

How to Apply for a reduction for disabilities

In order to apply for council tax reduction due to disabilities, you need to contact the council tax department of your local council. Certain councils provide an online claims form that the applicant can download, fill, and send to the council at the given address. Almost all the councils provide an online application form to fill for your council tax reduction, which also includes a ‘people with disabilities’ section to be filled if a taxpayer or his dependent suffer from any disabilities that qualify him for council tax reduction.

If you suffer from a severe mental impairment, you have to choose the ‘No Liability’ column under the council tax band section.

In two person-households with one sufferer, choose the 25% option in the discounts applicable section.

Reduction Rates

The reduction in your council bill is that of a lesser ‘Band’ than the original one. The domestic properties are classified into ’Bands’ based on the value, build, amenities and other factors of your property, the highest band being H and the lowest being A. 

If a person living with disabilities that qualify for council tax reduction is proved, who needs extra space for living as discussed, the council reduces the your tax bill to a level below the one to which your property belongs.

For example, the bill of a property under Band ‘F’ will be calculated as that of under Band ‘E’, that under Band ‘D’ will be calculated as under ‘C’, and so on.

Qualifying properties that are already in the lowest Band, that is, Band ‘A’ will receive a 1/6th reduction on their council tax rate.

Supporting documents

When you apply for council tax reduction due to disabilities, you also need to submit supporting evidence along with your application. This evidence might be a doctor’s note, or one from another qualified personnel, such as a health worker, social worker, occupational therapist, etc., who confirms the disabled person’ need for the extra space or room, and whether in their opinion, the mentioned necessary feature of the house is essential or not.

Several councils, however, still send a property inspector to verify the details provided by you in your application form.

What happens next

Once disability for council tax reduction is rewarded, the taxpayer needs to apply for the same for each new financial year. It does not get renewed on its own by default, without an application by the taxpayer.

What happens if you no longer qualify

If you have been a recipient of, or you have been granted reduction in your council tax based upon your disabilities, and the ground for such reduction has ceased to exist, then you need to inform the council of such a development. If you believe that you should no longer be receiving a disability reduction, you need to inform the council within 21 days from the date of such a belief.

If the council finds that a taxpayer has availed a reduction who did not qualify to do so, they will add the amount of bill to the taxpayer’s account and send a revised bill.

Conclusion

This blog answered the question “What disabilities qualify for council tax reduction?” It covered that you can avail disability council tax reduction whether you suffer from any kind of disability, provided you have allotted a space in your permanent residence to be used to help you deal with that disability, such as wheelchair access, spare room for dialysis, storage of medical equipment. The article discussed in detail all the procedures for the same, and other necessary requirements.

Feel free to ask any questions regarding the content or comment your queries or opinions in the comment section below.

FAQs

Can I get a reduction in council tax if I am disabled?

Yes, your council tax gets reduced if you are a disabled and you use a part of your permanent residence as an extra fixture to aid with your disability.

What is a disabled person entitled to?

A disabled person is entitled to a Personal Independence Payment (PIP), or a Disability Living Allowance (DLA), Attendance allowance, Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and several other benefits under government schemes.

How do I apply for council tax reduction for dementia?

You can apply for council tax reduction for dementia by selecting the option of ‘severely mentally impaired’ under the disabilities section in your application form to avail council tax reduction. Besides this you need to perform an evidence such as a doctor’s certificate or medical proof in support of your sufferance, to recieve a council tax reduction for dementia.

Is disabled council tax reduction means tested?

Yesw, disability couyncil tax reduction is a means-tested scheme. It takes into account several circumstances such as your income, savings, benefits claimed by you etc., before awarding the tax reduction.

When will the council tax reduction for disabilities be awarded from?

The reduction is awarded from the date when your application is received by the local council.

Citations  

https://www.counciltaxadvisors.co.uk/council-tax/disabled-reduction/#:~:text=To%20qualify%20for%20the%20council,live%20at%20the%20address%20permanently.
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/council-tax/check-if-you-can-pay-less-council-tax/
https://gov.wales/council-tax-discounts-and-reduction/disabled-people
https://www.angus.gov.uk/council_tax/council_tax_exemptions_and_discounts/council_tax_reduction_for_people_with_disabilities
https://www.croydon.gov.uk/council-tax/get-money-your-bill/council-tax-band-reduction-disabilities
https://www.ealing.gov.uk/info/201261/occupied_properties/679/apply_for_a_council_tax_band_reduction_for_physically_disabled_people/1
https://www.southampton.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-exemptions/disabled-reduction/
https://www.waverley.gov.uk/Services/Council-Tax/Council-Tax-discounts-and-exemptions/Council-Tax-reduction-for-disabilities
https://www.sefton.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-exemptions/reductions-for-people-with-disabilities/
https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/council-tax-exemptions-discounts-reductions
https://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/CouncilTax/ExemptionsandDiscounts/exemptions-and-discount-info/ctd-disabled.aspx
https://en.powys.gov.uk/article/1016/Council-Tax-Help-for-people-with-disabilities-or-impairments
https://www.gov.uk/council-tax/discounts-for-disabled-people
https://www.entitledto.co.uk/help/Disability-related-reduction-in-Council-Tax

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.

John has 22 years of experience in financial services. This spans across financial research, financial services (As a qualified mortgage broker and underwriter), financial trading and sales at global investment banks. While working as a publishing research analyst, he covered European bank credit and advised institutional clients on investment strategies at both JP Morgan and Societe Generale. John has passed all three levels of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) programme.