Council Tax Exemption - Disabled People
If your property has been adapted for a disabled person, you may qualify for a Council Tax band reduction
To qualify for a Council Tax band reduction, the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person. It must also have at least one of the following:-
- an additional bathroom or kitchen required to meet the needs of the disabled person
- a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory) required to meet the needs of the disabled person and used mainly by them
- enough floor space for the disabled person to use a wheelchair inside the property (wheelchairs for outside use only are excluded)
The room or space concerned must be required by the disabled person as a result of their disability.
The room or the wheelchair must also be of major importance to the disabled person’s well-being, due to the extent of the disability.
What is classed as major importance?
If the room or extra feature wasn't available and
- the disabled person would find it physically impossible or extremely difficult to live in the property
- their health would suffer or the disability would be likely to become more severe
then it is classed as 'essential' or of 'major importance'.
A room predominantly used by a disabled person
Sometimes a disabled person has a room specially to meet their needs. There must be a link between the person’s disability and the use of the room. The room must be of importance to the disabled person, not necessarily what is in the room, unless the room has been physically adapted.
The following scenarios will not qualify for a reduction:-
- a couple (one of whom is disabled) in a two bedroomed property who decide to sleep in separate rooms because of the disabled person’s disability. 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.
- someone 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 – unless a room has been converted or can be proved to be physically located in the most appropriate position in the house.
Some examples where a room may qualify:-
- a specially built therapy/treatment room
- a room used to store equipment, bandages & wheelchair
- a room adapted for dialysis
- a specially adapted bedroom
A second bathroom or kitchen
The same principles apply to other rooms. The fact that a property has a second bathroom or kitchen will not qualify unless it is essential to meet the needs of their disability.
The reduction will normally only be given if the person uses a wheelchair as their only means of getting about inside their home.
Confirmation by a doctor or qualified professional
We cannot always assess whether a particular feature is essential to a person’s well-being. For this reason it is helpful if you can get a doctor or other qualified professional. For example, social worker or occupational therapist, to confirm the person’s disability and whether in their opinion the feature claimed is of 'essential' or 'major importance'.
Providing this evidence helps us to make a decision, but does not mean you will automatically qualify. It also depends whether the room or space is needed because of the person's disability.
Care Homes may also qualify for a reduction. A resident will have to be nominated as the disabled person. We require proof that a feature is present which meets the specific needs of that person’s disability, even if it is used by other residents. For example the disabled person may need a second bathroom on the ground floor where their room is situated because they cannot use a bathroom on another floor. The fact that a care home has disabled residents is not, on its own, sufficient grounds for a reduction. The need for a room, second kitchen or wheelchair space must be related to the nominated resident.
How much will the reduction be?
The reduction will be equivalent to a re-banding of the property into the band immediately below. Qualifying properties already in the ‘A’ Band will receive a 1/6th reduction.
When will the reduction be awarded from?
The reduction is normally applied from the date we receive your application.
We send you a form each year and ask you to certify that the circumstances have not changed. If the disabled person leaves your address or the room or space on which the reduction was granted ceases to exist, you must let us know.