Council Tax discounts

To apply for the following Council Tax discounts, you will need to complete our online discounts and exemptions form.

Types of discounts

Care leavers discount and disregard

A Care Leaver is a person looked after by a local authority on their 16th birthday and for any period or for a total time of 13 weeks since their 13th birthday.

Care Leavers living in Wigan Borough will not have to pay Council Tax until they are 25 years of age under either of the following circumstances:

  • If they’re the only person named on the bill, or if the only other person named on the bill is their partner, a discount will be given to reduce the balance on the bill to nil after any other applicable discounts and Council Tax Reduction have been applied
  • If the Care Leaver is named on the Council Tax bill and lives with other joint occupiers (eg joint tenants) then the Care Leaver will be disregarded from the bill and not be expected to pay any Council Tax before they are 25 years of age. If there are only 2 joint tenants, and 1 tenant is a Care Leaver, then the other person will be entitled to a 25% single person discount until the Care Leaver reaches the age of 25.

A person who is registered as a Care Leaver under another borough in England can qualify for this discount/disregard if they live in the Wigan Borough.

Single Person discount

The normal Council Tax charge for a property is made on the basis that there are at least two adults (people aged 18 or over) living in the property.

Where there is only one adult we give a 'Single Person Discount' of 25%.

People that are not counted (disregarded) for Council Tax

Certain people can be 'disregarded' for Council Tax purposes. This means we do not count them when we are working out how many adults live in the property. If the number of adults counted is one, a discount of 25% is allowed. If no adults count, a discount of 50% is allowed.

The following list shows the people that can be disregarded.

  • Full time students and student nurses
  • Apprentices and Youth Training Trainees
  • People for whom Child Benefit is payable and school leavers under 20
  • Prisoners and other people held in detention
  • People with severe mental impairment
  • Patients living in a hospital or in a nursing home
  • People providing or receiving care elsewhere
  • Certain care workers and people providing care in the home
  • Members of recognised religious communities
  • Foreign diplomats

Empty properties

Explanation of terms:

  • Empty - A property that is not anyone's main home and is substantially unfurnished
  • Unoccupied - A furnished property that is not anyone's main home
  • Occupied - A property that is lived in as someone's main home

Empty properties are subject to the full Council Tax charge except in the following circumstances:

  • If a property requires or is undergoing major repairs to make it habitable the liable party may be entitled to a 75% discount for a maximum of 12 months
  • If a property becomes empty and unfurnished the liable party may be entitled to a 100% discount for the first month, followed by a 25% discount for up to 6 months
  • If a property has been empty and unfurnished for one year or more, the liable party will incur a premium as detailed below:
    • More than 1 year but less than 5 years
    • Premium payable - 100%
    • Overall charge - 200%
    • More than 5 years but less than 10 years
    • Premium payable - 200%
    • Overall charge - 300%
    • More than 10 years
    • Premium payable  - 300%
    • Overall charge - 400%

Any period during which the owner was granted 75% discount, because the property required or was undergoing major repairs, will count when determining if the property has been empty for one year or more.

Empty/unoccupied discount periods and premiums are property, not person specific, therefore it is possible that some or all applicable discounts have been exhausted, or a premium is already payable, prior to a new liability commencing.

People with disabilities

Under certain circumstances a reduction in Council Tax can be allowed for a property which is the home of a disabled person. There is no age limit and the disabled person does not need to be the taxpayer, but must suffer from a 'permanent and substantial' disability.

To qualify both of the following criteria must apply:

First criteria

A person with a permanent and substantial disability must live at the address for which a reduction is claimed. The person with the disability does not have to be the Council Tax payer.

Second criteria

One of the following conditions must also apply:

  • There is a room, other than a bathroom or kitchen which is used mainly to meet the needs of the disabled person. Please note: The room must be needed in addition to a room normally needed by any person as part of everyday life, eg in addition to a bedroom or living room
  • Or, there is a second bathroom or kitchen which is required to meet the needs of the disabled person
  • Or, the disabled person needs to use a wheelchair in the property, and there is enough floor space to allow this.

If these circumstances apply to you, or someone who lives with you then you should apply for a disabled person's reduction.

When the reduction applies, the Council Tax for the property is charged at the rate for the band below the actual band of the property. So for instance if a property is in Band D the bill will be the same as that for a Band C property. If the property is already in the lowest band, A, then a reduction of 1/9th of the Band D charge applies.

You can still qualify for other reductions such as single person discount and Council Tax reduction in addition to a disabled persons reduction.

We will normally need to visit you to confirm that you meet the criteria.

Disregard because of severe mental impairment

An individual is considered severely mentally impaired if they have severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning that appears to be permanent.

To qualify for a disregard, or an exemption if the person is the only adult occupier, a person must be  entitled to at least one of the following benefits AND their doctor will need to confirm that their condition meets the definition above:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Care Component of a disability living allowance either the highest or middle rate
  • Increase in rate of disability pension where constant attendance needed
  • Disability element of Working Tax Credit or Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Unemployability Supplement
  • Income Support which includes disability premium
  • Employment Support Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment (Living component)
  • A limited capacity for work (LCW) or limited capacity for work related activity (LCWRA) element of Universal Credit.

Documentary proof of any of the above is required.

Carers discounts

In order to apply for a carers discount the carer must:

  • Live in the same property as the person being cared for
  • Provide care for at least 35 hours a week on average
  • Not be the partner (or parent - if the person needing care is a child under 18) of the person being care for.

They must be caring for someone entitled to:

  • An attendance allowance or,
  • The higher or middle rate care component of disability living allowance or,
  • An increase in the rate of disablement pension due to the need for constant attendance or,
  • An increase in constant attendance allowance or,
  • The standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of personal independence payment.

You may also qualify if:

  • You are employed by a charity to care for someone in their home
  • You are paid no more than £44 per week
  • You are employed for at least 24 hours per week.

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