The discounts detailed on this page are not means tested. They are available to anyone who meets the qualifying conditions, regardless of their income or capital.
Council Tax is charged on the basis that there are two adults aged 18 or over living in a property. If there are less than two adults, a discount can be claimed.
Sole Occupier Discount
If there is only one adult living in a property, a 25% discount can be claimed.
Are all the adults living in a property counted?
No, some adults may not be counted (see section 3 “Who is not counted?”). This means that even if there are two or more adults living in a property, you may still receive a discount of 25% or even 50%. See examples below.
There are four adults living here. Cerys is not counted as she is a student. Mark is not counted as he is an apprentice. There are still two adults counted so no discount applies.
There are three adults living here. John is not counted, as he’s a Youth Training trainee. Sarah is not counted as she is a Student Nurse. One adult is counted, so a 25% discount will apply.
There are two adults living here, Liz is not counted as she is severely mentally impaired. Debbie is not counted as she is her carer. None of the adults living at the property are counted, so a 50% discount will apply.
Who is not counted?
You will not be counted if you live with and care for a person who is receiving one of certain allowances or disablement pensions. You must be providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average. You will be counted if you are caring for your husband, wife or civil partner (or partner you live with as husband, wife or civil partner), or your child under 18 years old.
Care leavers discount
If you have been in the care of Wirral Council (for instance you lived in a care home or were fostered) and are leaving care, you may be entitled to a reduction in Council Tax until you reach the age of 25. The amount of reduction you're entitled to may be up to 100% depending on the number of people who live with you.
The reduction will apply from 1st April 2018 or whenever you became liable to pay Council Tax if after this date.
People who are severely mentally impaired
People who are severely mentally impaired are not counted. For Council Tax purposes, a person is regarded as severely mentally impaired if he or she has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning, however caused, which appears to be permanent. This may include people with Alzheimer’s, Dementia or similar illnesses.
In order not to be counted, a person will need a certificate from his or her doctor to say that he or she is severely mentally impaired. The person must also be entitled to one of a number of benefits including certain disability benefits, unemployment allowances or attendance allowances.
You will also not be counted if you are at least 18 years old and someone is receiving child benefit for you.
If you are under 20 and left school after 30 April, you will not be counted until 1 November of the same year. (You may continue to get a discount as a student if you go on to further education).
You will not be counted if you are an apprentice employed to learn a job, and, as part of that learning, are undertaking training leading to a qualification recognized by the National Council for Vocational Qualifications. You must be paid no more than £195 per week (before tax).
Youth Training trainees
You will not be counted if you are under 25 and are receiving training which is funded by The Learning and Skills Council for England, in line with an individual training plan under the Youth Training Scheme, such as “programme led apprenticeships” or E2E (entry to employment).
You will not be counted if you are a student (or an overseas student) on a full-time or qualifying course of education.
You are a student if you are:
- attending a university or college course which lasts for at least an academic year, takes at least 24 weeks a year and involves at least 21 hours of study per week during term-time; or
- under the age of 20 years and remain in further education. The course must last for at least 3 months during which the student is required to study for more than 12 hours per week. Correspondence courses, evening classes, or courses taken in connection with a person's job, such as on day-release are not included
- student nurses studying academic courses at university or higher education colleges, are classed as students for Council Tax purposes
- foreign language assistants registered with the Central Bureau for Educational Visits and Exchanges are also treated as students. You will not be counted if you are the spouse or dependant of a student, are not a British Citizen, and are prevented by the terms of your permission to be in the UK either from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
You will not be counted if you are the spouse or dependant of a student, are not a British Citizen, and are prevented by the terms of your permission to be in the UK either from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits.
Resident hospital patients
You will not be counted if you are a patient in a hospital, which is your only or main home. If you are in hospital for a short time and you have a home elsewhere, you will carry on paying Council Tax at your home.
People living in Residential Care Homes, Nursing Homes, Mental Nursing Homes and Hostels providing a high level care
You will not be counted if you live, and are receiving care, in one of these homes or hostels, as long as it’s your only or main home.
People staying in certain hostels or night shelters
A person whose main or only residence is in a property such as a short stay hostel or night shelter providing communal accommodation for people who have ‘no fixed abode’ and ‘no settled way of life’ is not counted. These may include hostels run by the Salvation Army or Church Army.
People in Prison
Prisoners who are on remand or in prison are not counted. However, people who are imprisoned for not paying a fine or their Council Tax are counted.
Members of religious communities
You will not be counted if you are a member of a religious community, provided that you depend on the community for your material needs and have no personal income or capital, for example monks and nuns etc.
Only members of religious communities whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combinations of these are not counted.
This applies to any person who has diplomatic privileges and immunities.
Members (and Dependants) Of Visiting Forces and Members (and Dependants) of International Headquarters and Defence Organisations
If you think this relates to you, please contact us for further information.
How do I apply for a discount?
The person responsible for paying the Council Tax must apply, they can do this online.
How long will the discount last?
If a discount is granted, it will last as long as the qualifying conditions are met. However, the council may contact you from time to time to ensure that you should still be receiving a discount. If your circumstances change you must contact us straight away.
What is Disabled Relief?
Disabled relief is a reduction in your Council Tax if there is a disabled person, whether adult or child, in your household and you can answer yes to one of the following:
- do you have a second bathroom used for ‘personal washing’ (not just a toilet and washbasin), which is needed and predominantly used by the disabled person?
- do you have a second kitchen, which is needed and predominantly used by the disabled person?
- is a wheelchair used indoors?
- is there a room that is predominantly used by the disabled person and required to meet their needs as a disabled person? This could include a room that is used to house dialysis equipment, or a room for physiotherapy.
Please note that no account is taken of your income, so even if you are receiving a high income you could still qualify for this reduction.
What is the reduction?
If you qualify, you will be charged as though your property was in the Valuation Band below the one it has been valued at.
For example, if your home is in Valuation Band B, you’ll get a bill for a home in Valuation Band A. However, the valuation list itself will not be altered. Disabled Relief is not Council Tax Support.
Band A properties
People in band A properties will still receive a reduction of one sixth of their Council Tax.
If you need any help or information please contact us. Details are on the back of this leaflet.
How do I apply for Disabled Relief?
The person responsible for paying the Council Tax must apply, they can do this on-line. If you are unable to complete this form yourself you can:
- ask someone to complete it on your behalf (for example, a friend, social worker) or;
- visit one of our One Stop Shops
How long does the relief last for?
A renewal form will be sent to you each year asking you to confirm that the circumstances remain the same. It is important that you inform us straight away if the disabled person is no longer at the property.
What happens next?
The information you have provided on your form will be looked at.
We may later request a note from a doctor, or any qualified professional such as an occupational therapist or social worker confirming the nature of the disability. We may also need to visit the property to confirm the details on the form.
Could I be entitled to any other discounts or reductions in my bill?
This will depend on the number of residents, however if there is a disabled person living at the property you may also qualify for other discounts.
Examples of this would be if there is a carer, or a person suffering from a severe mental impairment.
For information about other discounts, for example, second home, holiday Homes, or job related homes, please read further information.
Additionally, receiving a discount or disabled relief, does not exclude you from also receiving Council Tax Support (a means-tested reduction in Council Tax) which is available to many people on a low income.
If I am unhappy with your decision, can I appeal?
If your discount application is refused you can appeal against our decision. You can make your appeal online. You must give the reasons for your appeal and provide any supporting evidence. We will look at our decision again and let you know if we are going to allow your appeal.
If we decide not to allow your appeal, you have a right of further appeal to an independent tribunal.
For further information visit the Valuation Tribunal Service.