Disregards

Penalties

Please note: applying for a discount or exemption that you are not entitled to, or failing to notify the Council within 21 days of any change in circumstance that effects your entitlement will result in a penalty of up to £280 being issued.

Please click here for further information on penalties.

Disregards

Certain personal circumstances can mean that some adults in your household can be disregarded (not counted) for Council Tax purposes. If all but one adult qualify for a disregard, a 25% reduction in Council Tax is awarded. If more than one adult does not qualify for a disregard however, the 25% reduction cannot be awarded.

If all the adults qualify to be disregarded then a 50% reduction can be applied (except when all the adults are students, or are severely mentally impaired, when a suitable 100% exemption can be applied.)

Students

If you are a full time student, studying for a recognised qualification, you can be disregarded for the charging of Council Tax.

To be classed as a full time student you must undertake:

  • at least 12 guided learning hours per week for students under 20 years old or
  • at least 21 guided learning hours per week for students over 20 years old.

To apply for this, you will need to send us a valid student certificate (available from your college/university's registry department, or the Open University or home study provider) for every student in the household.

If all adults in your property provide evidence that they are qualifying students, a Class N 100% exemption from Council Tax can be applied.

To apply for this disregard (or exemption) please use the Council Tax Discounts, Disregards and Exemptions online form and attach your student certificate

Severely mentally impaired

To qualify for this disregard a person must have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. A form will need to be filled in by the applicant's  G.P and the person must be receiving one of the following benefits:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Employment Support Allowance (Support Component)
  • Attendance Allowance (if over 65 years old)
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (care component, middle or higher rate)
  • Disability Working Allowance (under section 129 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992)
  • an increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance
  • an unemployability allowance payable with industrial injuries or war disablement pensions
  • Income Support that includes a disability premium on grounds which include incapacity for work.

You can download a guidance leaflet for GPs on Council Tax Disregards for people who are severely mentally impaired. 

If all adults in your property qualify as Severely Mentally Impaired, a Class U 100% exemption from Council Tax can be applied.

Resident in a care home

If a person has moved from their home to live in a care home, leaving only one adult in the property, and there is no intention for them to return home, the 25% sole occupancy discount can be applied.

To apply for this discount in these circumstances you will need to tell us:

  • The name and address of the care home
  • The date the person took up residence there

If the person was in hospital and then moved straight from the hospital to the care home, the discount can be awarded from the date the person was admitted into hospital.

You can tell us using the MySouthend Council Tax – Application for Sole Adult Occupancy discount online form; make sure you provide the care home’s name and address under Leaver’s details on the second page of the form.

Resident detained in prison or hospital 

A person who is detained in prison or hospital is disregarded for the charging of Council Tax (unless they are serving a prison sentence for not paying Council Tax).

Please use the Council Tax Discounts, Disregards and Exemptions online form to advise us of the details.

Once we have been told that someone has been sent to prison or is detained in a hospital, a form will be sent to the establishment. Once the completed form is received back from the prison or hospital where the person is detained we will apply the disregard.

18 and 19 year olds included in someone’s Child Benefit payments

If you are the parent or guardian of a person aged 18 or 19 that lives in your home and you receive Child Benefit for them, they can be disregarded for the charging of Council Tax. Please use the Council Tax Discounts, Disregards and Exemptions online form and attach proof of the Child Benefit received.

Apprentices, Youth Trainees & School Leavers 

If someone in your household is an Apprentice, Youth Trainee or a School Leaver, they may qualify to be disregarded from Council Tax.

An Apprentice is someone who is:

  • employed for the purpose of learning a trade, business or profession
  • training to obtain an accredited qualification, and
  • receiving a salary and/or an allowance of no more than £195 per week (before tax and National Insurance)

You will need to provide a copy of the Apprenticeship Agreement from the employer or training provider and proof of salary or allowance.

A Youth Trainee is someone who is:

  • under 25
  • has an individual training plan funded by the Skills Funding Agency or the Young People’s Learning Agency

You will need to provide evidence from your training provider showing you qualify as a Youth Trainee.

School Leavers who may qualify to be disregarded from Council Tax are:

  • 18 years old and have just left school or college, and someone is receiving Child Benefit for them, or
  • under 20 and left a qualifying course of education (at least 12 study hours per week for a qualification up to A-Level) on or after 1st May; in this case a disregard would only apply until 31st October of the same year

To apply for one of these disregards please use the Council Tax Discounts, Disregards and Exemptions online form and attach any evidence required.

Carers

If you:

  • give residential care for a person in your main home, you may be disregarded for the charging of Council Tax, and get a 25% reduction, if you and the person you are caring for are the only adults living there, or
  • if you move into a house or flat with a person so you can care for them, then you may be entitled to an exemption on your main home if it is left unoccupied

In both cases you must be providing care for at least 35 hours each week and the person you are caring for must not be your partner or your child under 18 years old. The person you are caring for must also get one of the following benefits:

  • Lower Rate or Higher Rate of Attendance Allowance
  • Middle Rate or Highest Rate of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance
  • Standard or Enhanced Rate of the Daily Living Component of the Personal Independence Payment
  • Increased Rate of Disablement Pension
  • Increased Rate of Constant Attendance Allowance

To apply for this disregard (or exemption) please use the Council Tax Discounts, Disregards and Exemptions online form and attach evidence of the benefit received.

Members of visiting forces and certain international organisations

For information on this disregard or the corresponding exemption please contact us directly.

Members of religious communities

Members of a religious community whose principle occupation is prayer, contemplation, education, the relief of suffering etc. are disregarded for the charging of Council Tax. To qualify, they must be dependent on the community for their material needs and also have no income or capital.

If you think you/your religious organisation qualify for this disregard please contact us to tell us of your circumstances.

People who are diplomats or members of an international organisation headquartered in the UK

For information on these disregards or the corresponding diplomat's exemption please contact us directly.

Page last updated: 03/08/2017