Council Tax Support
If you are claiming benefits or on a low income you may be eligible for a reduction in your council tax. You will need to apply to the council tax support scheme through your local authority.
You can find your local authority here.
Council Tax Support replaced Council Tax Benefit in April 2013. Everybody, regardless of income or whether they are claiming benefits, now has to pay a percentage of their council tax. Local Authorities have the power to decide the minimum you must pay and this varies between 0% (usually for pensioners) and 33%.
The amount by which your bill will be reduced will depend upon your income and circumstances and you will need to provide evidence of this (such as wage slips/bank statements/benefit letters) to your local authority.
You may be eligible for a discount on your council tax (this can be in addition to any reduction you may be entitled to). Discounts can be applied for various reasons including single adult occupancy and second adult rebate amongst others. You should contact your local authority to see if you qualify. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.
Disabled Band Reduction
The Disabled Band Reduction scheme is available to some disabled people to ensure that they do not pay more council tax than they would if they were not disabled and were able to live in a smaller property. Please note that having a disability does not automatically entitle you to a reduction.
The requirements for the reduction are that the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person and must have at least one of:
- An additional bathroom or kitchen
- Another additional room (but not a toilet)
- Enough space for a wheelchair.
A disabled person in this context means someone who is permanently and substantially disabled and can be either an adult or a child and does not have to be the person responsible for paying the council tax. For further information please see the guidance on the GOV.UK website. If you think you may qualify you should contact your local authority to apply.
Some people may be exempt from paying council tax such as students or those people with a severe mental impairment.
In order to qualify you will need to provide evidence of your student status or of a mental health condition. For a Severely Mentally Impaired Disregard you will need to have a medical practitioner complete a declaration on your behalf. You can download Guidance for Medical Practitioners here, which should be provided to your doctor with your application form.
If you think you may qualify for an exemption you should request the relevant application form from your local authority. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK website.