1. What is the reduction for disabilities scheme?
Your bill may be reduced if your home has certain features which are essential, or of major importance, to the well-being of a person with a disability, whether an adult or child, who is resident in the building. These features are:
- a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or toilet) used mainly by the person with the disability. For example, you might get a reduction if you have an extension or extra room used for storing dialysis equipment or wheelchairs, or a bedroom on the ground floor in a dwelling with two or more floors;
- an additional bathroom or kitchen for the use of the person with the disability;
- extra space inside the dwelling to allow for the use of wheelchair.
When considering whether a reduction should apply, councils have to decide whether the person with the disability would find it impossible or extremely difficult to live in the dwelling, or whether their health would suffer, or the disability become more severe, if the extra feature were not available in the dwelling. To qualify for a reduction, the extra room need not be specially built, but can be an existing room used specifically for the person with the disability.
2. By how much will my bill be reduced?
If your home is eligible, your bill will be reduced to that of a property in the valuation band immediately below the band shown on the valuation list. For example, if your home is in band D, your bill will be reduced to that for a band C dwelling. This will not, however, affect the value of your home or its banding on the valuation list. In this example, it would still be shown as band D on the valuation list.
Until the 1 April 2000 if your home was in band A, as it was in the lowest council tax band, no reduction would apply. This altered from the 1 April 2000 . You are now able to apply for Disabled Relief if your property is in Band A provided the qualifying features are met. Please contact the Council for further details.
3. How will the Council know when reductions should apply?
You should write to the Council if you think you may be entitled to a reduction for a person with a disability in your home. The Council will send you an application form and may ask for other information to support your claim. For example, you may need to provide a letter from your doctor, or someone like an occupational therapist or social worker, saying that the person with the disability needs the extra space or room because of it.
4. What can I do if the Council won't give me a reduction?
Once the Council has made a calculation of your council tax, you should write to your council giving the reasons why you think you should get a reduction for a person with a disability. The council has two months to make a decision. If you still disagree with the Council, or if it has not acted within the two month period, you will be able to appeal to a Valuation Tribunal. See "How To Appeal".
You should continue to pay your original bill while your appeal is outstanding.