Council Tax and Dementia reductions

Council Tax

Council tax is a charge local authorities make on residential properties in England and Wales to help pay for local services. Some people with dementia are eligible for a discount on their council tax bill. Sometimes the people who care for them are eligible for a discount too.
Council tax applies to both owner-occupied and rented homes. The bill for each property is calculated on the basis that two or more adults are living there. However, you will still need to pay council tax if there is only one person living there.

Exemption and Reductions

In England, Scotland and Wales someone who has been medically certified as having a permanent severe mental impairment such as dementia , and who is entitled to a disability benefit e.g. Attendance allowance, personal independence payment or disability living allowance, could be entitled to a Council Tax reduction or exemption. This could result in a reduction of 25% where two people are living in a property and one person diagnosed with dementia meets the disregard criteria, or an exemption if the person with dementia is living alone.

It’s important to also note if you only live with someone who has dementia, then you’ll be treated as a sole occupant as they will be disregarded, but you won’t both be exempt. You could get a 25% discount as you will be counted as a single occupant.

How to claim your discount  or exemption

To get any discount of exemption you’ll need a doctor’s diagnosis. In some cases you’ll need to attach a written diagnosis to your claim – in others you just give your doctor’s details and they’ll be contacted for confirmation.

You’ll need to get a claim form to apply for a reduction.. You’ll need to contact your local authority for a claim form to register for a council tax discount (find contact details via the Government’s ‘Apply for Council Tax Reduction’ service here Fill this in – you may be asked to attach some supporting evidence, such as the doctor’s diagnosis or evidence of receipt of relevant benefits.

If the person with dementia doesn’t claim a benefit, you may need a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If the person you’re living with qualifies for a benefit but for whatever reason doesn’t claim it (they should), then in some cases councils will ask you to get a letter of confirmation from the DWP saying you’re eligible.

You many be able to apply for a backdated discount. If you’re making a retrospective claim, you’ll need to write to your local authority explaining the circumstances – you’ll need to do this separately to your claim even if you’re claiming for a reduction going forward as well, though you can attach your letter to the claim form. It’s up to you what you explain here as you don’t need to explain why you didn’t apply for a reduction earlier, but you will need to prove the criteria for a discount applied at the relevant time in the past.

Notes and useful links

The council tax system is complicated and quickly changing. Anyone with further questions should contact their local authority’s council tax department.

The following links have more information that you may find useful:

Government website:

Citizens Advice:

Age UK:

Dementia UK:

Alzheimers Society: