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Who is not counted?

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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 recognised by the National Council for Vocation Qualifications. You must be paid a maximum of £195 per week (before tax) and expect to earn substantially more when you qualify.

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Youth training trainees

You will not be counted if you are under 25 and are receiving training in line with an individual training plan under the Youth Training Scheme, such as TCT, Options, Future and Next Step.

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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;
  • under the age of 20, and studying for more than three months and at least 12 hours per week for any qualification up to A level, ONC or OND standard. Correspondence courses, evening classes, or courses taken in connection with a person's job, such as on day-release, are not included;
  • a student nurse (as stated below); or
  • a foreign language assistant 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 dependent of a student, providing you 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.

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Student nurses

You will not be counted if you are a student nurse on a course leading to registration on any of Parts 1 to 6, or 8 of the nursing Register. Only student nurses studying from their first inclusion on the Register are not counted. Nurses who are already on the Register but are taking further courses are counted. Student nurses studying academic courses at universities or who are on Project 2000 courses, are excluded from this definition as they are considered as students.

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Resident hospital patients

You will not be counted if you are a permanent 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.

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People living in residential care homes, nursing homes, mental nursing homes and hostels providing a high level of care

You will not be counted if you live, and are receiving care, in one of these places, as long as it is your only or main home.

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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 suffers, for whatever reason, from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent. This will usually include people suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and other 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 incapacity benefits, disability allowances, unemployment allowances or attendance allowances.

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People who are staying in certain hostels or night shelters

A person whose main or only residence is in a dwelling 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.

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Monks or nuns

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. (This will still apply if you receive income from a pension or pensions from a former job.) Only members of religious communities whose main work is prayer, contemplation, the relief of suffering, education or any combination of these are not counted.

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18 and 19 year olds

You will not be counted if you are 18 or 19 years old and are in full-time education (other than higher education). This includes people of that age who are at school or college and are on courses up to, and including, A level standard. You will also not be counted if you are at least 18 years old and someone is entitled to child benefit in respect of you, or would be if you were not in local authority care. If you are an 18 or 19 year old who left school after 30th April you will not be counted until 1st November of the same year. (You may continue to get a discount as a student if you go on to further or higher education.)

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You will not be counted if you live with, and care for, a person with a disability who is receiving one of certain allowances or disablement pensions. You must be providing care for at least 35 hours a week on average. However, you will be counted if you are caring for your husband or wife (or partner/civil partner with whom you live as a spouse), or your child under 18 years old. Someone who cares for an elderly person for at least 24 hours per week or a person with a disability in return for payment of up to £44 per week will not be counted. Such a person will usually belong to an organisation like Community Service Volunteers, but could be employed by a public body or (in certain circumstances) by the person for whom they care.

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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 the council tax are counted.

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Members of visiting forces, international headquarters and defence organisations

You will not be counted if you are a member (or dependent of a member) of a visiting force, or a member (or dependent of a member) of certain International Headquarters and Defence Organisations.