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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

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  • Mobile_hell
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    Interested to hear you got your council tax payments back. I am acting for my brother and I had to pay the previous years council tax for him after they agreed SMI, which is from birth. I was told they don't backdate the claim.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    edited 16 June 2019 at 6:11PM
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    Interested to hear you got your council tax payments back. I am acting for my brother and I had to pay the previous years council tax for him after they agreed SMI, which is from birth. I was told they don't backdate the claim.


    This is a constant issue that pops up - a local authority has no powers to refuse to backdate a disregard (and associated discount/exemption) simply on the basis of their 'rules' where it is clear that a party qualifies. Council Tax legislation itself does not prevent backdating, even as far as 1993. Almost every SMI case that I have to deal with for clients seems to come with the same argument, so cmean be dealt with without needing a tribunal but a lot of cases head that way when councils refuse to give ground.

    The Limitation Act 1980 however can limit backdating of the SMI disregard to 6 years but even that can be argued about if the local authority had knowledge and failed to act on it (they tend to forget their legal responsibilities under the regulations - I often point it out to them !).
    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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    OK, so assuming you get past that hurdle and are successful in getting a backdated disregard, how is that amount supposed to be given back to you?


    I'd assumed it is just paid back to you but I've just read something elsewhere that suggests it might be done by adding it as a credit on your account to set against future council tax liabilities? Or is it just the Council Tax low income reduction that's done that way?
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    So i've just been refused disregards for myself and my husband who we both care for our DD (i receive CA) and also been refused SMI that the GP filled in for us. Our local authority doesn't take phone calls to deal with anything regarding council tax anymore and you have to send an email. Wait 10 days and they send you a response and then you have to email them back and so on and so forth. It's so frustrating. Does anyone have any advice on how to get us disregarded so her SMI can be accepted?
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Fishikiss wrote: »
    So i've just been refused disregards for myself and my husband who we both care for our DD (i receive CA) and also been refused SMI that the GP filled in for us. Our local authority doesn't take phone calls to deal with anything regarding council tax anymore and you have to send an email. Wait 10 days and they send you a response and then you have to email them back and so on and so forth. It's so frustrating. Does anyone have any advice on how to get us disregarded so her SMI can be accepted?

    It depends on what grounds the council have refused the SMI application . What specific reason did they give ?

    I deal with councils most days of the week and it does get very infuriating trying to contact them.
    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.
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    CIS wrote: »
    It depends on what grounds the council have refused the SMI application . What specific reason did they give ?

    I deal with councils most days of the week and it does get very infuriating trying to contact them.

    The letter just says hat the necessary criteria hasn't been met. Sounds like a brush off. I think they hope people will get fed up of the system and go away.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Fishikiss wrote: »
    The letter just says hat the necessary criteria hasn't been met. Sounds like a brush off. I think they hope people will get fed up of the system and go away.


    Most council's aren't actively trying to discourage people from applying, it's more that they are simply doing a poor job of administering council tax accounts (I see it in councils all over the country).

    How old is your daughter ?
    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.
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    CIS wrote: »
    Most council's aren't actively trying to discourage people from applying, it's more that they are simply doing a poor job of administering council tax accounts (I see it in councils all over the country).

    How old is your daughter ?

    She is 22.
  • CIS
    CIS Posts: 12,260 Forumite
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    Fishikiss wrote: »
    She is 22.

    Is she in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (or did you go on the basis of entitlement for the SMI) ? If so, which benefit ?
    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.
  • Fishikiss
    Fishikiss Posts: 19 Forumite
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    CIS wrote: »
    Is she in receipt of one of the qualifying benefits (or did you go on the basis of entitlement for the SMI) ? If so, which benefit ?

    Hi. She gets higher rate PIP for mobility and care.
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