We have deleted a tweet shared yesterday that contained incomplete information which could have been misleading. If you have dementia or are a carer you may be entitled to help with your council tax through an exemption or a discount or a reduction. 

There are different ways in which you can get help with your council tax bill. These are:

  • Council Tax Exemption
  • Council Tax Discount (of 25 or 50 Percent)
  • Disability Council Tax Band Reduction
  • Council Tax Reduction

Whether you qualify for an exemption or discount depends on who resides in the household. For those who have a lower income or have certain qualifying benefits you may be entitled to council tax reduction. A council tax reduction can help you pay all or part of the council tax part of your bill. It is possible to qualify for a council tax discount, disability council tax band reduction and council tax reduction at the same time. If the household is exempt, then you have no liability for council tax and won’t need any further help. Each local authority in Scotland administers a council tax reduction scheme and exemptions and discounts. You can check what help you can get with council tax from your local authority council’s here: https://www.mygov.scot/council-tax/discounts-exemptions-and-reductions.

A person who is deemed to have a “severe mental impairment” and who is in receipt of a qualifying benefit such as Attendance Allowance, is exempt from paying council tax. That can include people with dementia. To qualify you need to ask a doctor to complete part of the form to confirm that the person is regarded as being severely mentally impaired. You should contact your local council to get a form for your doctor to sign to confirm this. The doctor could be the GP or another doctor involved in the person’s care. If the person lives alone or only with other people who have dementia then the household may be exempt from any council tax, water, and wastewater charges.

A council tax discount applies when the number of people living in household is less than two. In counting the number of people who reside in a house some people are disregarded for council tax purposes. Those disregarded include people with dementia or other disability, some carers, full-time students, and children under 16. A discount of 25 percent applies when everyone except one adult living in the house is disregarded. A discount of 50 percent applies when everyone living in the house is disregarded.

Getting help with council tax bills can be complicated and it is a good idea to get welfare rights advice. Your can contact your local authority welfare rights service, Citizens Advice Scotland (0800 028 1456) or by phoning the Freephone 24-hour Dementia Helpline (0808 808 3000). Welfare Rights Advisors give specialist advice on all benefits, including council tax reductions, discounts or exemptions.