Forum

Council tax disability deduction

Hi all,

wondering if anyone has applied for and been granted (or refused for that matter) a disability reduction on council tax? I’d like to hear some experiences of it. I currently live in a 3 bed house which I own for myself and my son. I moved here in March 2018. The third/spare bedroom is used by my brother at times when I’m ill and require him to stay over to care for me. I’ve read the requirements for the council tax reduction and not sure if that would qualify. I only found out about this benefit yesterday and I tried to call the Council (Glasgow) for advice but that department’s telephone calls are currently suspended due to Covid. I work full time and take plegridy every two weeks. It’s mainly on these weekends that I need the help.

thanks

s x

Hi, I`ve been in receipt of this reduction in council tax for a number years.

We originally got it because I had an extra bathroom installed for me. You could also get it for any extra room needed in connection with your disability.

Different councils may vary. Check out your`s.

Boudsx

Some years later, I read you could get it if you are a wheelchair user.

Hi, thanks for your reply. I’ve got an extra bathroom down stairs but I didn’t have it built. It came with the house. It is easier for me to use when downstairs as it’s tiring for me to get up and down the stairs all the time but I don’t think I’d qualify for it on those grounds. If I qualify it would only be for the extra bedroom I have. X

Hi, I was refused this when I tried to get it…they contact your GP to clarify if you’re memory is ok, mine was at the time, not so much now, well that’s what I was told…now I’ve read Bouds reply I might try again, as my husbands my full time carer, I do use a wheelchair, outside…but hey sometimes the rules are so fague, I’ll watch this post with interest.

Jean x

Hi Jean, there are two types of disability reductions relating to council tax I have found in my research in the last day. The one relating to severe mental disability would mean that person doesn’t count for the purposes of council tax. The benefit that I want to apply for is if you need another room or bathroom becuase of your illness which would bring your council tax banding down by one band. You should defo re apply for it

Thanks anon for that, I will take another look.

Jean x

I think you need to evidence substantial and permanent disability - and this leads to lots of the grey areas as per whoever is doing the assessment . Severe Mental Impairment (eg brain injury, dementia, learning disability) is usually the kind of things considered for exemptions for CT

You can apply online anyway , even if office is closed (and not sure why they arent at work, GCC has it’s staff at work at home or in office). Nothing to lose by doing this. I know you have probably read lots but in summation it tends to be as below.

If their disability is physical there must be a special feature in your home which makes it possible or easier for the person to live there. For example:

  • there may be a stairlift, ramped access, or a specially adapted bathroom
  • there may be an extra room in your house that is used either for the person who is disabled to sleep in, or for them to keep or use equipment in, such as a Braille machine or a dialysis machine.

You must be able to show that if your home did not have the special feature or extra room, it would be difficult for the disabled person to live there, or it could make their condition worse.

A reduction may be possible if the person with the disability is:

  • living on their own but receiving care from a carer or
  • being cared for by a family member who lives with them.

Hi EML,

Thank you for your reply. The staff at GCC are working from home but their calls for council tax are apparently suspended so the answer machine message told me to email in or check online for answers to my query. I am going to put the application in. The worst they can do is refuse it. My MS nurse said she would fill in the application (the part required to be completed by a medical professional). If I didn’t have the spare room (I only moved to a 3 bed once I found out I had to now take medication and didn’t appreciate how it would completely wipe me out afterwards) so a family member could stay over on those days to help me. It’s not a great saving - approx £16 per month - but every little helps. Thanks

So could someone answer this for me, as brain fog stops me understanding a lot. So we had our bathroom redone to have a walk in shower for me, does this qualify, or if we have our spare bedroom done as a bedroom for my hubby, who’s my full time carer, does this qualify, if I get worse and have to extend existing bathroom into spare room to make a wet room, as our bathroom would be too small for this, does that qualify, any help I’m grateful for.

Jean x

Hi Jean, I think you having to ‘adapt’ your bathroom to fit your needs would make you qualify for it. I’m not sure on the spare bedroom hence my post. Hopefully someone else can answer that xx

Thak you for that anon,

Jean x

Jean Not sure any local variations but based on above eg someone is your carer and without adapted bathroom you would be in unsuitable housing it seems so?

sorry EML, not sure I understand your post, Live in a bungalow, had bathroom modified with walk in shower, my hubby is my full time carer, what do you mean about unsiutable housing ?

Jean x

Hello

The disabled council tax discount is given for people who have

  • need of an extra room necessary because of the disability (eg for dialysis or if your same sex children need to sleep separately because of behaviour or special needs), or
  • had to put in a ground floor bathroom (or loo) because of their disability, or
  • to put in a second kitchen or bathroom due to the disability
  • to use a wheelchair indoors.

Look at your local councils website for their application process. It’s generally quite straightforward, you’d probably have a visit to check your facilities.

The discount is to downgrade your council tax bill to the next band down. So if your property is graded as being in band D, you’d have a discount so you pay the amount for band C. If you’re already in band A, your discount would be one sixth of the charge.

Sue

Hi sue, do you know if having an extra bedroom for a carer would qualify for the reduction? Thanks x

So I would like an answer to that too, as me and my hubby are looking unlikely to keep sleeping together because of the ms , also I did have our bathroom adapted ?

Jean x

Sorry Jean was paraphrasing . Was referring to -You must be able to show that if your home did not have the special feature or extra room, it would be difficult for the disabled person to live there, or it could make their condition worse. So bungalow ok for acesss but without a suitable bathroom etc it may be seen as unsuitable eg also if Occupations Therapists would recommend it. That’s what i was thinking. Sorry for any confusion x

Thank you EML for replying, honestly its a bloody mine field.

Jean x

As far as I know, yes. If you need an extra room because your carer (whoever it is, spouse, carer, whoever) needs a room to sleep in and there’s a reason why you & your husband can’t share a room. That could be because you need a profiling bed, because you need more space round the bed for wheelchair/equipment, whatever the reason is. Or maybe (forget MS temporarily, the need may be for your partner), because of night time issues, very bad sleep patterns, some other health need that leads you to need a second room.

But speak to your local authority. Although the disability reduction rules are national, how the individual LA deals with them may differ, especially given Covid and the potential to be unable to do a site visit.

By the way, if you are granted the reduction, and the reasons for it are historic, you might be able to have it backdated to say April this year. In my experience councils can be quite flexible with dates for such reductions.

Sue

Thank you very much this information Sue. I am going to submit my application this week. I will keep you all posted. I did read that the disability reduction can be backdated 6 years! I’m going to ask for mine to be backdated until March 2018. I will also let you all know how I get on with that. Thanks. xx