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Discounts for disabled people

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If you live in a property where changes have been made to help a resident disabled child or adult, you may be eligible for a discount on your Council Tax.

Find out if you’re eligible

To qualify for a Council Tax band reduction, the property must be the main residence of at least one disabled person. It must also have at least one of the following:

  • an additional bathroom or kitchen required to meet the needs of the disabled person
  • a room (other than a bathroom, kitchen or lavatory) required to meet the needs of the disabled person and used mainly by them
  • enough floor space for the disabled person to use a wheelchair inside the property - wheelchairs for outside use only are excluded

The room or space concerned must be required by the disabled person because of their disability.

The room or the wheelchair must also be of major importance to the disabled person’s well-being, due to the extent of the disability.

What’s classed as ‘essential’ or of ‘major importance’

A room is classed as ‘essential’ or of ‘major importance’ if it or an extra feature were not available and:

  • the disabled person would find it physically impossible or extremely difficult to live in the property, or
  • their health would suffer, or the disability would be likely to become more severe

A room predominantly used by a disabled person

Sometimes a disabled person has a room specially to meet their needs. There must be a link between the person’s disability and the use of the room.

The room must be of importance to the disabled person. Not necessarily what's in the room, unless it has been physically adapted.

Scenarios where there’s no reduction

The following scenarios will not qualify for a reduction:

  • a couple (one of whom is disabled) in a two bedroomed property who decide to sleep in separate rooms because of the disabled person’s disability (unless the bedroom has been specifically adapted to meet the needs of the disabled person)
  • someone living in a purpose-built disabled property would not qualify unless it has been adapted to meet the specific needs of the individual living there
  • someone living in a two-storey house who has moved their bed into the lounge would not be eligible - this is because the room would also be used as a lounge in the same way as a ‘non-disabled’ household
  • ‘quiet’ rooms – unless a room has been converted or can be proved to be physically located in the most appropriate position in the house

Examples where a room may qualify

The following are examples where a room might meet the criteria;

  • a specially built therapy/treatment room
  • a room used to store equipment, bandages & wheelchair
  • a room adapted for dialysis
  • specially adapted bedroom
  • a second bathroom or kitchen

The same principles apply to other rooms. The fact that a property has a second bathroom or kitchen will not qualify unless it is essential to meet the needs of the disabled occupant.

Wheelchair space

The reduction will normally only be given if the person uses a wheelchair as their only means of getting about inside their home.

Confirmation by a doctor or qualified professional

We cannot always assess whether a particular feature is essential to a person’s well-being. For this reason, it’s helpful if you can get confirmation from a doctor or other qualified professional. For example, a social worker or occupational therapist can confirm the person’s disability and whether in their opinion the feature claimed is of 'essential' or 'major importance'.

Providing this evidence helps us to make our decision but does not mean you’ll automatically qualify. It also depends on whether the room or space is needed because of the person's disability.

Care homes

Care Homes may also qualify for a reduction. A resident will have to be nominated as the disabled person. We’ll need proof that a feature is present which meets the specific needs of that person’s disability. This is even if it is used by other residents. For example, the disabled person may need a second bathroom on the ground floor where their room is situated. This may be because they cannot use a bathroom on another floor.

The fact that a care home has disabled residents is not, on its own, sufficient grounds for a reduction. The need for a room, second kitchen or wheelchair space must be related to the nominated resident.

What the reduction will be

The reduction will be equivalent to a re-banding of the property into the band immediately below. Qualifying properties already in the ‘A’ Band will receive a 1/6th reduction.

Read about Council Tax valuation bands and charges.

When the reduction is awarded from

The reduction normally applies from the date we receive your application.

Report a change

When we send you a bill each year we expect you to let us know if your circumstances have changed. If the disabled person has left your address, or the room or space where the reduction was granted ceased to exist, you must let us know.

How to apply

To apply for a discount, please complete our form. You’ll need to know your Council Tax account number.

For Bournemouth residents:

For Christchurch residents:

For Poole residents:

If you need any help with completing the form, please contact us.

Government information about discounts for disabled people.

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