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    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 29th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • 149Posts
    • 52Thanks
    MSE Megan F
    MSE News: Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are severely mentally impaired
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    MSE News: Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are severely mentally impaired 29th Sep 17 at 8:28 AM
    A major investigation by MoneySavingExpert.com reveals 10,000s of the most vulnerable people in England, Scotland and Wales are being overcharged up to £400 a year due to a council tax postcode lottery...
    Read the full story:
    'Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are 'severely mentally impaired''

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 29-09-2017 at 11:57 AM.

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Page 2
    • ukwmo
    • By ukwmo 30th Sep 17, 9:32 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 82 Thanks
    ukwmo
    My Dad has Parkinson’s and vascular dementia. He was awarded Attendance Allowance 2 years ago and the DWP visiting officer who’d sorted that called me to tell me about this extra help with Council Tax.

    It made a huge difference to my Dad, his works pensions means he normally has to pay top dollar for everything. But after getting a form from the council and a trip to the doctor to get it completed, it means he’s exempt from Council Tax.

    So. Thanks very much to that DWP visiting officer ! With his Attendance Allowance awarded and the Council Tax removed it meant he was over £500 per month better off. And that’s enabled us to employ a cleaning lady a few hours each week for him, to pay for his alert buzzer system and to pay for some adaptations to his home (handrails throughout, new steps at his front door and various disability aids).

    Having said that, the council staff were next to useless, I phoned them 3 times and only the third person knew what I was talking about. It’s so secret a loophole that their own staff don’t know about it.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 1st Oct 17, 3:48 PM
    • 10,029 Posts
    • 5,720 Thanks
    CIS
    Having said that, the council staff were next to useless, I phoned them 3 times and only the third person knew what I was talking about. It’s so secret a loophole that their own staff don’t know about it.
    There's no secrecy or loophole - just badly trained staff,
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery as I'm now a self employed Council Tax advisor and consultant with my own Council Tax consultancy business. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 2nd Oct 17, 1:34 PM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 761 Thanks
    Mersey
    ...and how would a Council Tax Department know someone had dementia or suffered a stroke or an NHS Certificate for care had been issued?
    Originally posted by Housing Benefit Officer


    Because the council's social services depts - who clearly know as they eventually arrange the care package on discharge - have a duty to inform them.


    But as Martin Lewis' research proved, some councils are just useless administratively.


    Another FOI request showed that one NW council (on receipt of death cert) stops the council tax bills, bin collection, removes them from the Electoral Roll and so on. Another neighbouring NW council does none of this!
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 2nd Oct 17, 1:38 PM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 761 Thanks
    Mersey
    There's no secrecy or loophole - just badly trained staff,
    Originally posted by CIS


    True, but the Senior Officers are at fault as Martin Lewis showed that most Councils don't even list SMI on their websites.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • Housing Benefit Officer
    • By Housing Benefit Officer 2nd Oct 17, 1:56 PM
    • 2,386 Posts
    • 4,241 Thanks
    Housing Benefit Officer
    Because the council's social services depts - who clearly know as they eventually arrange the care package on discharge - have a duty to inform them.


    But as Martin Lewis' research proved, some councils are just useless administratively.


    Another FOI request showed that one NW council (on receipt of death cert) stops the council tax bills, bin collection, removes them from the Electoral Roll and so on. Another neighbouring NW council does none of this!
    Originally posted by Mersey
    Social Services are administered by the County Council (unless administered by a Unitary Authority) - not by the Borough Council that administers Council Tax. They have no duty in the legislation to pass on someones private and confidential medical details to another local authority.
    These are my own views and you should seek advice from your local Benefits Department or CAB.
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 2nd Oct 17, 4:19 PM
    • 1,570 Posts
    • 761 Thanks
    Mersey
    Most of the FOI requests which showed failing Councils were Mets - unsurprisingly as most people live in urban areas - such as the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and the London boroughs.


    But yes what you say is true for 25% of the population in mostly rural areas who have county cllrs.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • tasty_snacks
    • By tasty_snacks 4th Oct 17, 8:43 AM
    • 211 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    tasty_snacks
    Can MSE release the full list of councils contacted and their respective uptake rates?
    • comments occasionally
    • By comments occasionally 4th Oct 17, 8:51 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    comments occasionally
    Claimed successfully
    Hi,
    After reading here about this last year, I phoned Brent (london) council for form. It came next day!
    Don't be deflected when they won't talk to you because you're not the council tax account holder!! You can get a form sent to their address.
    My father has Parkinson's and is not eligible for any benefit which is means tested. He lives with my mother and needs 24 hour carers on account of mobility problems. He doesn't have Alzheimer's type mental impairment but Parkinsons diagnosis qualifies him.
    His doctor signed form but ticked "not mentally impaired" box. Added that he has Parkinson's.
    He got reply within few months, quick for councils! And received discount backdated to include last year.
    Not sure how backdate worked out, may be all they offer.
    Brent's website lists disregarded adult categories but, although it lists severe mental impairment as a criteria, it doesn't mention Parkinsons in particular and neither does the form. So ring them up and ask for form.
    The woman I spoke to when requesting form, apologised for this wording.
    If people are in this position, they should also apply for attendance allowance which is not means tested and every little they give you helps. Carers can also claim carers allowance if doing 35 hours a week. You don't have to live there.
    Sounds to me quite a few of your readers posting could claim both.
    Remember the council tax discount is applied to the household, so doesn't help if you have two other adults in the house. The disabled adult offspring living with two parents, won't qualify you for this one, though carers and attendance allowance have different criteria.
    It's all ridiculously complicated and shouldn't rely on supporters chancing to find out what help is available.
    As the lady said, when you're looking after people you can't always take in information sent out with bills. Also conditions like Parkinsons aren't always specified.
    My father possibly could have claimed this years ago when diagnosed!
    I've been trying to spread the word but don't know many eligible people.
    Was delighted to see it on TV news the other day.
    Keep up the good word, Martin and team...
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