If you are a carer, you, or the person you care for, may qualify for a reduction in Council Tax.
If you wish to claim a carer discount please see the form below.
Am I a carer?
There are many ways to define carer. When the Government made the laws about Council Tax they wrote a definition which local authorities must use when considering reductions. This definition sets out specific qualifying conditions.
There are two different sets of these conditions: one applies to care workers and the other to home carers.
Who is a care worker?
A care worker is someone who:
- Provides care or support on behalf of a ‘relevant body’, or was introduced to and is employed by the person they care for by a ‘relevant body’ (a ‘relevant body’ is a local authority, central government or a charity):
- Employed to provide this care for at least 24 hours a week
- Is paid less than £44 a week:
- Lives in the premises provided by their employer or the relevant body to carry out their duties.
Who is a home carer?
A home carer is someone who:
Provides care to someone who is receiving:
- The highest rate of the care component of Disability Living Allowance
- The highest rate of Attendance Allowance
- An increase in the rate of Disablement Pension
- An increase in Constant Attendance Allowance
- Lives in the same place as the person they care for.
- Cares for someone who is not a partner or a child under 18 (If your child is over 18 you could be eligible).
- Provides care for at least 35 hours a week.
In addition, discounts are available if someone in the property is disregarded from Council Tax purposes.
- if everyone in a property is disregarded, a 50 per cent discount is awarded.
- if one person in a property is liable to pay but everyone else is disregarded, a 25 per cent discount is awarded.
- If two or more people are not disregarded, no discount is awarded.
Carers who also work outside the home
If you have a job outside the home as well as providing care, you are still eligible for a council tax discount as long as you give care for at least 35 hours per week on top of your other employment.
For example, you can be in paid employment from 9am-5pm but provide care to someone else from 6pm when you return home, until 8am the following day when you leave for work (14 hours care a day).
The same applies if you only provide care at weekends, as long as you care for a minimum of 35 hours and reside permanently with the person you care for.
If you provide care for someone who is severely mentally impaired, read our section on Council Tax exemptions.
If you have left your home to provide care for someone else
If your main home is unoccupied because you have gone to look after someone else you may be entitled to claim an exemption from paying council tax at your usual address. The exemption will last for as long as you are away.
To qualify you must have changed residence in order to provide personal care for someone who requires looking after because of one of these:
- old age
- drug, alcohol or mental disorders
You will need to show that you are better able to provide the care they need from your new home rather than from your previous residence.
Council tax benefit and carers
Council Tax Benefit is intended for those with a low income who may have difficulty paying their bill.
If you have been awarded a discount because some or all the people who live with you are carers or severely mentally impaired, you may still be entitled to claim Council Tax Benefit against the remainder of your charge.
Appealing against a discount decision
When it sends out its bills, the council will have decided whether it thinks a discount applies to your home. If there is no discount and you think you should get one, you should write to your council explaining why. We will tell you what evidence you will need to support your claim.
The council has two months to make a decision. If we don’t write back to you within two months, you can appeal to a Valuation Tribunal, as long as not more than four months have passed since you wrote to the Council in the first place.
If you want to appeal, you must contact the Tribunal office within two months of the Council’s decision. You will then be sent a Council Tax appeal form to fill in.