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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

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  • staggered
    staggered Posts: 350 Forumite
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    I'm not an expert and don't want to muddy the waters but, in our case, mum received attendance allowance on account of her severe and chronic anxiety / depression, and was diagnosed as SMI by her GP on account of this. So it may be possible to claim for prior to her dementia diagnosis? It would depend on the GP and their interpretation of the "Severe Mental Impairment" guidelines.

    Good luck.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    edited 16 April 2019 at 12:27PM
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    staggered wrote: »
    I'm not an expert and don't want to muddy the waters but, in our case, mum received attendance allowance on account of her severe and chronic anxiety / depression, and was diagnosed as SMI by her GP on account of this. So it may be possible to claim for prior to her dementia diagnosis? It would depend on the GP and their interpretation of the "Severe Mental Impairment" guidelines.

    Good luck.


    Yep, all depends on the GP certification (and the meeting the other qualifying conditions).


    Very few Drs will sign it though for Anxiety or Depression as they don't ordinarily meet the first limb of the two required conditions.

    or the purposes of this paragraph a person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent
    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.
  • D.J.R
    D.J.R Posts: 2 Newbie
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    Lancs are saying that u have to be claiming the higher disability care allowance before you can claim the SMI rebate on your rates is this correct?
  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 4,176 Forumite
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    D.J.R wrote: »
    Lancs are saying that u have to be claiming the higher disability care allowance before you can claim the SMI rebate on your rates is this correct?

    Middle or High rate DLA or any rate PIP. https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/reclaim/severe-mental-impairment-dementia-council-tax-rebate/
  • D.J.R
    D.J.R Posts: 2 Newbie
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    Its west Lancs I have replied to them my mother does not need the higher rate and am waiting to hear back but have had email saying:-
    "We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible however, following the recent issue of Annual Bills 2019/20 we are currently experiencing high volumes of contact and it may therefore take us a little longer than normal to email you back."
    look's like I may be in for a wait !
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    D.J.R wrote: »
    Its west Lancs I have replied to them my mother does not need the higher rate and am waiting to hear back but have had email saying:-
    "We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible however, following the recent issue of Annual Bills 2019/20 we are currently experiencing high volumes of contact and it may therefore take us a little longer than normal to email you back."
    look's like I may be in for a wait !


    Sounds like they've not changed their auto-reply from the start of year billing (or else they have severe issues with getting past the start of year rush)

    I see the DLA issue relatively often in respect of the SMI disregard for some reason. DLA Care can be either the middle or high rate, as a qualifying condition. To give the council credit, they've only had since 2013 to get used to this particular legislation change...
    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.
  • Machine_Silver
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    For anyone who followed this post and is in similar circumstances, I have succeed in claiming the discounts for both mum and myself. As I have moved out of my home for the specific purpose of caring for mum, even though it is still furnished and is my registered address, I have qualified for a class J disregard and have secured a 100% discount backdated to December 2017. This has netted me £1840 and no further council tax to pay. Mum meanwhile, will get the SMI discount at 50% because I've moved in to care for her (it would be 100% if she lived alone). This will be backdated to the date of her diagnosis in mid 2017. Just to be clear, these are disregards and not discounts and so are not means tested. Anyone who tell you they are is fibbing!


    So, a great result and so much thanks to Martin publicising this and to those who commented on my original post. :)
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Just to be clear, these are disregards and not discounts


    The disregards give rise to the actual discount.
    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.
  • Machine_Silver
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    Thank you for clarifying that. Apologies if my terminology was a bit loose. I hope readers will understand the point I was making about why the discounts that these particular disregards give rise to are not means testable because I've seen some people saying on forums that their LA's had told them that they are.
  • calcotti
    calcotti Posts: 15,696 Forumite
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    Thank you for clarifying that. Apologies if my terminology was a bit loose. I hope readers will understand the point I was making about why the discounts that these particular disregards give rise to are not means testable because I've seen some people saying on forums that their LA's had told them that they are.

    The distinction is this.

    There are discounts depending on who lives in the property. The discounts are not means tested. The discounts reduce the council tax liability.

    There is a means tested benefit, Council Tax Reduction, which people on a low income can get. Council Tax Reduction is a credit applied to the bill which helps the claimant meet their council tax liability.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
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