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Carers & Council Tax

By: Sarah O'Hara BA (hons) - Updated: 12 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Council Tax Carer Caring Council Tax

If you are a carer for a disabled person, you may be entitled to a reduction in the amount you pay for your Council Tax, exemption from it altogether or help with paying it. However, there are restrictions on who is eligible.

Living Arrangements

You may be entitled to a Council Tax reduction if you care for someone in your own home or in their home. The person that you care for can’t be your spouse, partner or child though.

In order to receive reduced Council Tax you must actually live in the same property as the person you care for. If you just care for them on a daily basis and then go home at the end of the day you won’t be eligible for a Council Tax reduction, but you may be eligible for Council Tax Benefit (see below). As well as living together, you must also be providing 35 hours or more of care per week.

There are also stipulations regarding the person you care for. They must be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance (at the higher rate)
  • Attendance Allowance (at the higher rate)
  • Increased Disablement Pension
  • Increased Constant Attendance Allowance

Moving to Be a Carer

If you move from your own home to live with the person you care for you may still be entitled to a Council Tax reduction. Once you have moved you should send a letter to your local council informing them of your situation. They will need:

  • The date of the move
  • The details of the capacity in which you are caring for someone
  • Proof of your new address (a utility bill for example)
  • Details of how long you intend to live with the person you care for (for example if it is a permanent or temporary arrangement)
  • Information on whether your former property is now empty. If it is you may be eligible for exemption from paying Council Tax on it while you are living with the person you care for.

The Size of the Council Tax Reduction

The size of the Council Tax reduction you could receive will depend on the number of people living in your house who are eligible to pay Council Tax. Firstly, make a list of all the people living in your home. Then cross off anyone who doesn’t have to pay Council Tax. These people include:

  • Children under 18
  • Those in full-time education
  • Any carer providing more than 35 hours per week of care
  • Any disabled residents

If there is nobody left in the house who needs to pay Council Tax, you could receive a 50% reduction in your fee. If there is just one person you could be eligible for a 25% reduction.

Your Local Authority will be able to give you more exact advice on the level of Council Tax reduction you could receive.

Council Tax Benefit

You may also or alternatively be entitled to help to pay your Council Tax bill in the form of Council Tax Benefit. Council Tax Benefit is means-tested. You may be eligible if:

  • You are liable to pay Council Tax (meaning you are not a full-time student, aged under 18 or subject to some other exemption)
  • You are on a low income, for example through being a carer
  • You don’t have savings of more than £16,000

If you are eligible for Carer’s Allowance you may also receive extra help due to the carer premium.

You can apply for Council Tax Benefit through your Local Authority.

If you are a carer it’s worth contacting your Local Authority for information and to make sure that you are receiving any help with your Council Tax that you’re entitled to.

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