Council tax for carers
Under normal circumstances carers are required to pay council tax. However, discounts are available if someone in a property is not counted for paying council tax:
- If everyone in a property is disregarded, a 50% discount is awarded.
- If one person in a property is liable to pay but everyone else is disregarded, a 25% discount is awarded.
- If two or more people are not disregarded, no discount is awarded.
How to tell if you qualify for a carer discount
If you are a carer you can be disregarded from occupying your property if all the following are true:
you live permanently with the person you care for
the person you care for is not your spouse or your child if under the age of 18. (If your child is over the age of 18 you can qualify)
you provide care for at least 35 hours per week.
The person you care for is receiving one of these:
higher or lower rate attendance allowance
the highest or middle rate of the care component of disability living allowance
- an increase in a constant attendance allowance.
the daily living component of personal independence payment (either rate).
You will need to supply proof of any qualifying benefit.
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 for people with severe mental impairments.
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:
drug, alcohol or mental disorders.
You will need to show that you are better able to provide the care their need from your new home rather than from your previous residence.
Council tax reduction scheme and carers
The council tax reduction scheme 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 support against the remainder of your charge.
Joint and several liability
Joint and several liability applies to any household where more than one person shares the property either as joint owners or joint tenants.
It means that all of the occupants are jointly responsible for payment of the bill.
This applies equally to households consisting of carers, non-carers, benefit claimants, or any other combination. It is very important therefore that everyone living in the property must register so that all of the names appear on the bill.
Any council tax due for payment is the responsibility of all members of the household. We will not specify any person or persons to pay, so it is your responsibility to agree how the bill will be paid within the household. You will all be held jointly responsible for any arrears.