Council Tax - Disability Reduction
Disabled band reduction scheme
The disabled band reduction scheme aims to ensure that disabled people do not pay more Council Tax because they live in a larger property than they would have needed if they were not disabled. Having a disability does not automatically entitle you to a reduction.
In summary, the requirements for a reduction are that the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person and it must 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 toilet) required to meet the needs of the disabled person which is used predominantly by them.
- Extra space inside the property to allow for the use of a wheelchair (wheelchairs for outdoor use only are excluded).
The room or the wheelchair must also be essential or of major importance to the disabled person's well-being, due to the nature and extent of their disability.
'Disabled person' in this context means a person who is substantially and permanently disabled. The disabled person can be either an adult or a child and does not have to be responsible for paying the Council Tax bill.
An extra room does not need to have been specially built, but your home will not qualify for a reduction unless the 'essential or of major importance' test above is met. Simply rearranging rooms, for example, having a bedroom on the ground floor rather than the first floor is unlikely to make your home eligible for a reduction.
What reduction will I get?
If your home is eligible, your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the next Council Tax band down. For example, a Band D property will be charged a Band C rate. Even if your property is in Band A (the lowest band) you will still receive a reduction. It will be the same in cash terms as the reductions for homes in Band B, C or D.
We are guided by government legislation and case law when making the decision.
How do I apply?
A new application must be made each year. We may need to visit your property, and in some cases require a medical certificate.
We will assess your application and if you do not fulfil the criteria, disabled relief will be refused. If you would like to appeal against this decision, the person aggrieved by the decision must direct their appeal in writing stating the grounds on which they are dissatisfied.
The billing authority has a period of 2 months to respond; during this time, we may amend our decision or confirm it. If you are still unhappy with our decision, you have the right to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal. A person may also appeal to the Valuation Tribunal if we have failed to respond after 2 months.
Please contact us if you have any further queries regarding disabled relief.
Form of Authority
Your Council Tax account is a private and confidential matter so we will not discuss your account with anybody who is not suitably authorised. This can cause problems for some people who rely on the help of a friend or relative. If you would like us to talk or write to someone else on your behalf, please fill in and return a 'Form of Authority'.
9am to 5 pm Monday to Friday
The Valuation Tribunal
71 Collingwood Road
Council Tax General Enquiries
East Herts and Stevenage Borough Council