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COUNCIL TAX DISABILITY REDUCTION

If you or someone in your home is living with a disability, you’ll understand the extra strain that this can sometimes cause, financially.

Fortunately when it comes to calculating council tax, this is taken into consideration. The government offers a scheme called Council Tax Disability Reduction designed to prevent those with disabilities from paying more tax as a result of the extra space they require.

To qualify for the council tax disability scheme, the home must be the main home of someone with a substantial and permanent disability. This may be a condition caused through illness, injury, congenital deformity or other reasons, however the disabled person must live at the address permanently. It applies regardless of whether the person is a child, adult, relative or friend and the person in question does not need to be the one responsible for council tax.

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When it comes to the eligibility of the property, there are also several criteria that must be met. The home must have a minimum of one of the following features:-

  • An additional bathroom/kitchen in the property designed for use by the disabled person
  • A room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) which is required by and mainly used by the disabled person. For example this may be a room which is now mainly used for treatment or therapy
  • Enough space in the property for the disabled person to use a wheelchair indoors. In the case of young children, the use of a specialised buggy indoors could also meet criteria.

It’s not just those in a traditional household that can benefit from the Council Tax Disability Reduction scheme either; it’s also available for care homes and hostels. If you’re not completely sure whether you’re eligible for a Council Tax Disability Reduction, don’t worry, simply give us a call on 01452 687 340 and we’ll be able to shed some light on the situation.

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ADVICE ON COUNCIL TAX DISABILITY REDUCTION

It’s certainly worth looking into the Council Tax Disability Reduction if you have someone disabled living in your home- those who qualify will have their bill reduced by one band. So for example, someone in a band C house would pay the equivalent of someone in a band B home. Those in a band A home, the lowest band, would receive the same cash reduction as someone in band B, C or D (a sixth). Again, this is something we can discuss with you should you have any queries.

The next step in the process is to request an application form from your local council. This will be a fairly simple document, including reasons for eligibility, contact detail, information on the individual and council tax account number, however if you find yourself struggling with any of the sections we’ll be more than happy to guide you through the process.

In addition to this you may also have to provide further information supporting your claim for a Council Tax Disability Reduction. This might include a letter from your doctor, occupational therapist or social worker which confirms that extra space or adaptations to your home are required because of the disability.

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE BEST ADVICE ON COUNCIL TAX DISABILITY REDUCTION

As with all areas of council tax, disability council tax reductions can be complicated. As outlined earlier, having a disability does not automatically entitle you to a reduction; the disability must be substantial and permanent. Some conditions are progressive however, and in a situation like this a judgement will need to be made when a disability becomes substantial.

Because situations can change, the council are required by law to ask you each year to confirm that you still wish to claim the reduction. They will do this in writing, and if you fail to reply they may have to stop the reduction, so it’s important to keep on top of this.

On the other hand if there are any changes to your circumstances that may affect your entitlement to a Council Tax Disability Reduction it is your responsibility to advise Revenues and Benefits within 21 days. If you are unsure over what constitutes these sorts of changes, simply call one of our friendly and professional staff.

The Council Tax Disability Reduction scheme is a positive enforcement which is designed to support those living in a larger property than they would need if they were not disabled. It’s also good to know there is no time limit for backdating this reduction. If you were previously unaware of your entitlement, it could come as a welcome financial relief.

For more information, or for guidance on the process of applying for a Council Tax Disability Reduction, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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