Council tax discount for carers: am I eligible?

Disabled woman and carer under umbrella in autumn park.

If you’re a live-in carer, providing care for at least 35 hours per week, you may be eligible for a council tax discount. Find out if you qualify.

Council tax is a large annual bill, but there are numerous ways to potentially lower it. One is by checking which council tax band you fall under, and if your household is in the wrong band, you might get a reduction.

Certain people qualify for discounts too, including live-in carers. There are some boxes to check, and the person being cared for should also receive certain benefits. But it’s well worth checking to see if you’re eligible, as the annual reduction to your bill should help take some of the financial pressure off.

Here we’ll look at who qualifies, how much of a reduction you could get, and what other help is available.

If you’d like to know more about council tax in general, see what council tax is and how much you need to pay. It’s also worth noting that you may be exempt from council tax if you’re in full-time education.

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How much council tax am I paying?

While the amount of tax payable varies from council to council, and depends on your council tax band, the average amount that Brits pay each year are as follows:

  • England: £2,065
  • Scotland: £1,347
  • Wales: £1,879

Please note that there’s a different system of rates operating in Northern Ireland. See if you’re eligible for a reduction at nidirect.

As such, council tax is a sizable outgoing, so it’s worth getting it reduced if you’re eligible. And if you’re a carer, you may be classed as a ‘disregarded person’ for these purposes, meaning you could qualify for a council tax reduction or discount.

Who qualifies as a carer for council tax?

To be eligible for a council tax discount as a carer, all of the following should apply:

  • In a week, you provide at least 35 hours of care
  • You live with the person you provide care for 
  • You’re not the civil partner or spouse of the person you care for, or a parent if they’re under 18 

In addition, the person you provide care for needs to receive one of the following benefits:

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) – care component at the middle or high rate 
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – daily living component at any rate
  • Attendance Allowance at any rate
  • Adult Disability Payment in Scotland – daily living component at the highest rate
  • Child Disability Payment in Scotland – care component at the highest rate
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment (AFIP)

It won’t matter for council tax purposes if you receive Carer’s Allowance. Nor should your income or any savings affect a potential discount.

The amount of council tax payable and discounts can vary from council to council. Find your local authority at GOV.UK and see if you’re eligible.

How much of a discount can I get as a carer?

With council tax, it’s assumed that there are two or more adults living in a property, so the default amount payable is usually 100%.

If you live by yourself, you’re likely to qualify for a single person council tax discount. This will normally mean a 25% council tax reduction. And you may be eligible for this reduction if you live with disregarded people, who don’t count for council tax purposes.

As such, if only one person is eligible for council tax after taking all disregarded people into account, you’re likely to get a 25% discount. This becomes a 50% reduction if no one is eligible.

Let’s say you’re a carer, you meet all the criteria above, and the person you live with receives one of the stated benefits. If there’s just the two of you, you should qualify for a 50% reduction. But if a third person who doesn’t count as disregarded lives at the property, this becomes a 25% discount.

Find out more about how council tax is calculated

Are other discounts available for people with disabilities?

If you have a disability, live with or care for someone that does, it may be possible to get a further reduction. With the disabled band reduction scheme, it might be possible to drop a council tax band if the disability means having to live in a larger property than you would otherwise have to.

Dropping a band will mean a reduction in the amount of council tax payable annually. The amount will vary from council to council, but let’s say you live in Neasham, near Darlington. If you’re in band D, at the time of writing, your household will pay £2,188.15 in council tax a year. But if you apply to the scheme, and drop to band C, you’ll pay £1,945.03 – a reduction of £243.12.

If you’re on a low income, other help may be available

You can find out what’s classed as low income for council tax purposes. But if you’re on a low income and need further help, support may be available. It’s worth looking into the following schemes:

You may also qualify for a hardship grant for help with your energy bills. This includes E.on Next’s 50% off the energy price cap.