Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

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Hi,

We've written a new guide on Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’ and would appreciate your feedback.

Please let us know if it was helpful and if there are any other tips you'd add.

Thanks for your help!

MSE Sarah
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  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    edited 27 November 2017 at 9:03PM
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    MSE_Sarah wrote: »
    articlealert2_banner.gif

    Hi,

    We've written a new guide on Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’ and would appreciate your feedback.

    Please let us know if it was helpful and if there are any other tips you'd add.

    Thanks for your help!

    MSE Sarah

    Where it says;
    A 25% discount
    – if you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, or only adults who have also been disregarded for council tax purposes. Effectively you get a single person's discount - but when claiming, specify you require a discount because you are living with someone who is severely mentally impaired.


    A 100% discount
    – if you have a severe mental impairment and live alone, you shouldn't be paying any council tax at all.

    It's worth mentioning the 50% discount. If the person who is SMI lives with other adults who are also disregarded (but not as SMI) then a 50% discount will usually apply. (The same 50% discount applies in any case where all the occupiers are disregarded but there is no appropriate council tax exemption available). The 50% discount can also apply in some cases where all the occupiers are SMI (i.e. they're not always eligible for 100% reduction)

    Also worth adding that the 100% reduction may apply if all resident adults are disregarded as SMI in cases. There are cases where the 100% reduction doesn't apply even where all occupiers are SMI.

    Craig
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • bucklnwr
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    It is interesting to note that at least two council application forms I have seen state that proof of entitlement or receipt of benefit must be presented, in contrast to your statement that one does not actually have to be receiving one.
    bucklnwr
  • marliepanda
    marliepanda Posts: 7,186 Forumite
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    bucklnwr wrote: »
    It is interesting to note that at least two council application forms I have seen state that proof of entitlement or receipt of benefit must be presented, in contrast to your statement that one does not actually have to be receiving one.
    bucklnwr

    Entitlement does not always equal receiving, but on the most part if you are SMI then you would be receiving.
  • sarah49
    sarah49 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    Hi, been trying to get council tax support for my father from swindon council. He has SMI and attendance allowance but just had another letter of refusal as he has over £16k capital. I was assured by alzheimers society that it's NOT means tested and reading your report it would not seem to be. Could you clarify?
    Thanks
  • sarah49
    sarah49 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    Also, Swindon council asked for proof of his RECEIVING benefit, not just entitlement!
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    sarah49 wrote: »
    Hi, been trying to get council tax support for my father from swindon council. He has SMI and attendance allowance but just had another letter of refusal as he has over £16k capital. I was assured by alzheimers society that it's NOT means tested and reading your report it would not seem to be. Could you clarify?
    Thanks

    Council Tax Support is means-tested - it is the replacement for what was Council Tax Benefit.

    The Severely Mentally Impaired discount is a different type of reduction and is not means-tested.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • sarah49
    sarah49 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    Thanks CIS, do you know of anywhere I can get written proof?
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    sarah49 wrote: »
    Thanks CIS, do you know of anywhere I can get written proof?

    If it's just an entitlement to a state benefit that was held then DWP won't confirm eligibility, they'll only confirm where payments were actually made.Very difficult, if not impossible, to provide entitlement as opposed to receipt.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • sarah49
    sarah49 Posts: 5 Forumite
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    He is receiving DWP benefit, I can prove that. I need to find some proof that SMI discount (should be 100 % ) is not means tested, Swindon council is claiming it is...
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    sarah49 wrote: »
    He is receiving DWP benefit, I can prove that. I need to find some proof that SMI discount (should be 100 % ) is not means tested, Swindon council is claiming it is...

    They'll know well enough it isn't, I suspect it's simply down to a miss-communication in what you are actually applying for. The information you provided in your first post shows they are dealing with a Council Tax Support claim which is means tested and probably the cause of the confusion.

    The SMI disregard requirements are set out in Schedule 1 of the Local Government Fiance Act 1992 and the Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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