Council tax discounts

In some instances, you may be able to get a discount on your council tax bill.

People who aren’t counted

Some people aren’t counted when we look at the number of people living in a property to see whether a discount should apply.

To work out if a discount may apply, count the number of adults who live there as their main home. We don't count adults who are in the groups below. If there are two or more adults, you'll be charged the full rate of council tax.

  • Full time students/student nurses
  • foreign language assistants
  • Anyone aged 18 or over who's still eligible for child benefit
  • A student’s spouse or dependent who isn’t a British citizen
  • Patients permanently living in a hospital or residential home
  • Occupants under the age of 20 who are at or have just left school or college (after 30 April until 1 November)
  • Anyone who normally lives in the home but is in prison or hospital by order of a court.  It could also be if they're detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 or under the deportation provision of the Immigration Act 1972
  • Youth trainee/apprentice
  • Religious communities
  • Carers and care workers
  • Diplomats
  • Anyone with a severe mental impairment
  • Anyone staying in hostels or night shelters who doesn't have a permanent home
  • Visiting forces

Single person's discount 

The full council tax charge is based on two adults living in your home. The bill doesn’t increase if there are more than two people. 

If you live in a property on your own, you can apply for a single person’s discount on your council tax bill. This will reduce it by 25%. 

Single person's discount review

If you get a single person discount review form from us you can fill it in. Tell us about any changes since the last review.  

Student discounts 

Only full time students or student nurses can apply for this discount.

To qualify as a student you should be: 

  • 18 or 19 and on a course up to 'A' level or BTEC National Diploma standard for at least 12 hours a week
  • undertaking a full-time course of further or higher education at a university or college for at least 21 hours a week
  • a nurse studying under Project 2000 arrangements
  • a foreign language assistant registered at the Central Bureau for Education Visits and Exchange. You'll need to be appointed at a school or other education setting

A student nurse is someone who is: 

  • on a course which would (if passed) lead to them becoming a registered nurse, midwife or health visitor 

You’ll need to let us have a student certificate confirming your course before we can award the discount. You can ask for a certificate at your college or university. Please scan your certificate and upload it with our evidence attachment form

You'll need to apply online if you think you may qualify for a student discount.  

Care leavers discount

Barnsley care leavers are entitled to 100% council tax discount. You'll receive this discount even if you don't live in the Barnsley area.

A care leaver is defined as a person who:

  • must have been in care for a period of at least 13 weeks which began after their 14th birthday. It also includes some time after their 16th birthday.

The 100% discount will apply until you become 25.

Find out more in our council tax discount for care leavers policy.

Disability discount

If you've had to adapt your home because someone living there has a disability, you may be able to get a council tax discount. 

You can read our council tax band reduction for disabled people details to see if you can apply.  

Structural and major repairs discount  

You can apply for a 25% discount for up to 12 months if the property is unoccupied and unfurnished.  It needs to have, or has already had structural changes or major repairs. If you're only repairing but not replacing items you may not be able to get the discount. Examples of works that may qualify include:  

Structural repairs

Major repairs

  • A defective roof
  • Internal or external supporting walls
  • Floor joists and staircases
  • Chimney stacks
  • Foundations ( including underpinning)
  • Rebuilding external walls, for example to extend the property
  • Gutting the property – including removing most internal walls
  • Removing timber walls
  • Removing plaster from all walls
  • Taking most of the ceiling down

You won't get a discount for any of the following work. This is unless it's part of other structural or major repairs: 

  • replacing bathrooms or kitchens
  • damp proofing
  • plastering small parts of the property
  • pointing small parts of the property
  • replacing tiles or repairing only part of the roof
  • rewiring or replumbing 

To claim this discount, fill in the online combined discount and exemption form. You’ll also need to send us evidence of any works. This includes invoices or photographs. You can upload these using the evidence attachment form

Discount for an annex or self contained flat  

If you live in an annexe or self contained flat and you're related to the person who lives in the main house you can claim a 50% reduction in your council tax. Please note this would need to be part of a main property.

Apply for a severely mentally impaired discount

For Council Tax purposes a person who has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning. This is an illness which appears to be permanent. This can include people suffering from Alzheimer's disease, strokes and similar illnesses.

To qualify for an SMI discount the person must be entitled to one of the below benefits:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Any rate of the daily living activity care component of Personal Independence Payment
  • The Care component of the Disability Living Allowance payable at either the middle or the highest rate
  • An increase in the rate of his or her disablement pension due to the need for constant attendance
  • The disability element of Working Tax Credit
  • Unemployability supplement
  • Income Support where the applicable amount includes a disability premium
  • Constant Attendance Allowance or Unemployability Allowance under:
    • Article 14 or Article 18 respectively of the Personal Injuries (Civilians) Scheme 1983
    • OR Article 14 or Article 18 respectively of the Naval, Military and Air Force etc. (Disablement and Death) Service Pensions Order 1983

You'll need to give evidence that you're in receipt of one of the above benefits. You can provide this using our online evidence form.

We'll write to your GP to confirm if you're eligible for the discount and if so from what date.  If you'd like anymore details about claiming for a SMI discount, ring our customer contact centre on (01226) 787787 and press option 3. The lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.

Find out more about council tax discounts for people with a severe mental impairment.

Discount and exemption review

If you've received a discount and exemption review letter from us, complete the form for us. Please confirm if you're still entitled to the discount or exemption.

If you'd like more details phone our customer contact centre on (01226) 787787. Then proceed to press option 3. The lines are open Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm.

You can also find other ways to contact us here.