A report carried out by Mencap entitled Simply Disregarded: Why many Council Tax offices are failing the nation's carers, has revealed that nearly half of all Council Tax Offices surveyed were not aware of the significant discount available to carers who meet certain criteria. This means that some carers are missing out on at least a 25% discount off their Council Tax bills and possibly 50 % in the case of two carers.
To claim the Carers Discount all of the following conditions must apply to your caring situation:
- You look after someone who is entitled to the higher rate of Attendance Allowance; or
the highest rate of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance; or
Constant Attendance Allowance.
- You provide care for that person for at least 35 hours a week.
- The person cared for is not your husband/wife, or partner (i.e. living together as if married).
- The person cared for is over l8 years old.
- The person cared for lives with you.
Please note if there are is another adult living in the house and liable to pay the tax this will affect your entitlement. It should also be noted that this discount can be backdated to April 1993 when the Council Tax was introduced (as long as the above conditions have applied since then).
If you think you meet all the qualifying criteria to claim Carers Discount you should contact your local Council Tax department whose address and phone number should be on your latest Council Tax bill.
Council Tax reduction for people with disabilities
From 1st April 2000 people who live in a Band A property will now be able to apply for a reduction in their Council Tax under the Disability Reduction Scheme. The reduction will be one sixth of the Council Tax Bill for a Band A property.
You can receive a reduction in your Council Tax if you live with someone (an adult or child of any age) who is substantially or permanently disabled, or you are disabled yourself, and at least one of the following three conditions is met;
- You have a second bathroom or kitchen needed by the disabled person; or
- You have a room, other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet, needed by and predominantly used by the disabled person; or
- You have enough space in your home for the disabled person to use a wheelchair which he or she needs indoors.
If you qualify for a reduction under the scheme your Council Tax bill will be reduced to that of a home in the Band below yours.
For example, if your home is in Band D, and you qualify under the scheme for a disability reduction, your Council Tax bill will be the amount for Band C.
People living in a Band A property can apply under the disability reduction scheme from 1st April, by contacting their local Council.
For further information, see the Council Tax Discounts page at Directgov.