The cost of council tax varies across the UK, with the average household paying just over £2,000 a year.

Council tax must be paid by both home-owners and renters. The price is determined by the value of the property lived in and the personal circumstances of the tenants.

If someone in your household has dementia, you'll likely find you're eligible for Council Tax Reduction, which is essentially a discount on your bill or total exemption.

Read on to find out more!

To download a copy of this guide in order to print it out, please click here.

Who Can Apply for Council Tax Reduction?

There are several different ways to qualify for a discount on your council tax.

  1. You're the only adult in your household
  2. You're a student in full-time education
  3. Someone in your household is disabled
  4. You're on a low income
  5. You're a live-in carer
  6. You or your partner receive pension credit

Let’s explore each of these conditions in more detail. If you’re reading this article as a caregiver to someone with dementia, you’ll likely want to skip the first and second sections.

1. You’re the only adult in your household

If you’re the only adult in your household, then you’re entitled to a 25% council tax discount.

This applies whether you live alone or whether you’re a single parent.

2. You’re a student in full-time education

Full-time students are exempt from paying council tax, so they essentially enjoy a 100% discount.

If everyone in your household is a full-time student, nobody has to make payments. If you’re a full-time student living with a non-student (and you’re the only two people living in the property), your household will be required to pay council tax. However, you’ll be entitled to a 25% discount as there’s only one eligible adult living in the residence.

Part-time students do not qualify for Council Tax Reduction.

3. Someone in your household is disabled

If someone in your household is disabled, you may be able to apply for a discount or full exemption.

For those with physical disabilities, demonstrating that you need to live in a larger home due to their disability can lead to a discount. For example, needing extra space for wheelchair users. Click here to check if you qualify.

If you live with someone who has a mental impairment, and you’re the only two adults in your household, you’re eligible for a 25% discount. If you both have qualifying mental impairments, you should be eligible for a 100% discount.

Additionally, if a person with a mental impairment lives alone, they should be entitled to complete exemption from paying council tax.

4. You’re on a low income

If you’re on a low income, you may qualify for Council Tax Reduction.

When considering your eligibility, your income and savings will be considered alongside how many other people live in your household.

5. You’re a live-in carer

If you’re a live-in carer for someone who you’re not related to or in a relationship with, you’re exempt from paying council tax.

6. You or your partner receive pension credit

If you or your partner receive pension credit, your household should be exempt from paying council tax.

How to Apply for Council Tax Reduction

If you believe you qualify for a discount or exemption on your council tax, you’ll need to make an application through your local authority.

Click here to find your local authority and begin the application process.

Reporting a Change in Circumstances

Sometimes a change in your circumstances will mean you should pay more or less towards your council tax.

If you’re currently paying a reduced rate, you must inform your local council about any relevant changes to your circumstances.

These changes might involve:

  • A new person joining your household
  • Births, deaths or marriages in your household
  • A change of employment or income for anyone in your household
  • A change in benefits for anyone in your household

This list is not exhaustive. Your local council will be able to inform you which circumstances are relevant.

Council Tax Reduction Due to Dementia

If you’re living with and caring for a loved one with dementia, you’re most likely entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax bill.

To qualify, the person with dementia will typically need to be in receipt of Attendance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment. 

For help and advice, feel free to contact us at Dementia Concern on 020 8568 4448.

Check out our guide on Financial Support for Unpaid Carers to find out more about what you're entitled to. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much is Council Tax Reduction?

If you’re eligible for a discount, then the exact amount will vary. This will depend on the council tax band you’re in and what percentage you’re entitled to as a discount.

The most common discount amount is 25%, which would save the average household around £500 a year.

Can Council Tax Reduction be backdated?

It is often possible to get a claim backdated. However, this does depend on the local authority involved. If you wish to have your claim backdated, you should contact the authority you made your application to and discuss your circumstances.

What evidence do I need for Council Tax Reduction?

If you're making a claim to reduce your council tax bill, then you'll need to present the relevant documents, which will vary depending on the reason for your claim. 

Your evidence will typically include documents to show your identification as well as documents that prove your income and show your savings. 

This information was accurate and up-to-date as of 15/01/2024.