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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’ - Page 2

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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
152 replies 24.3K views
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  • sarah49sarah49 Forumite
    5 posts
    Many thanks for your help. Swindon council has finally agreed that he is exempt! Yeehah! !!!55357;!!!56835;
  • marliepandamarliepanda
    7.2K posts
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    sarah49 wrote: »
    Many thanks for your help. Swindon council has finally agreed that he is exempt! Yeehah! !!!55357;!!!56835;

    I think it’s more that the wrong type of reduction was being asked for rather than Swindon Council ‘disagreeing’

    The more people understand the difference between SMI exemption and council tax reduction benefit the better.
  • Glynis_WGlynis_W Forumite
    5 posts
    I applied for this 2 weeks ago on behalf of my husband. He had severe stroke in 2000.
    We have had a social worker over the years but they have never mentioned this!
    They asked for proof of enhanced benefits which I gave.
    Now just waiting to see what the doctors tell them.
    No way they can say he is not severely mentally impaired.
    Wait and see!!!
  • I am grateful to MSE for the guidance on reclaiming council tax for SMI which my wife picked up from Alzheimers UK seminar last autumn. It's one of those things which you look at, think that's nice, I'll try and do it sometime. Then put it down and forget all about it, unfortunately.

    However, come November2017, I came across it again and decided now is the time, and as Mum (SMI - dementia sufferer) and I were passing the Redditch Borough Council offices, we called in and asked for the forms. Readily available at Reception.

    Completed and submitted them in person on 7 Nov, and immediate disregard was applied there and then from that date for the rest of the financial year. I said while grateful, we expected more than half a year, and that we would appeal, and so they seemed to accept appeal as lodged, and we waited until early December, but heard nothing further, until we called in again.

    We were told we had to provide GP's certificate for further restitution of tax paid, and so we got certificate that A) cerebrallar stroke in 2008; B) impairment of mental abilities from that date to the present date; C) further exacerbation by other medical issues since, and in the first week of January 2018 we presented to the Council, again in person, along with the two DWP letters dated 2008 and 2017 notifying award of attendance allowance. Within a week or so a new Tax Demand Notice for each of the years from 2008 until 2017 came through the post showing total refund for each year.

    Within days the full amount - over £7008 (seven thousand and eight pounds) - was credited to Mum's bank account. This is comprised of 50% discount of her share of the tax while Dad was alive until 2012, and 100% disregard thereafter, as she lives alone.

    Once the Council got onto the right track, there was no resistance to the claim and the appeal, and although not bending over backwards to help, it was straightforward and without rancour. From start to finish, it was less than two months to resolve

    First and foremost, this is not a windfall, like the Lottery, this is restitution of monies unlawfully demanded by the Taxation Authority while the statute says the payer is disregarded, and it is bordering on fraudulent for the Authority to keep it. The Taxation Authority is collecting taxes in your name and my name, and cannot be seen to collect unlawfully at the expense of SMI persons.

    Second, and this is my personal opinion only, the full amount has to be repaid without statutory limitation because it has been unlawfully demanded, and the amounts demanded are all recorded however long ago is applicable, and thus can be restituted, i.e. the tax band values must easily be found in the Council's audited accounts. This is converse of the limitation on Tax backdated demand, because it is presumed that it has occurred by an oversight of the Authority, and where it is not easy to certify the correct amount for too great a period.

    Third, this money now allows Mum to continue to live in the security and safety of her own home without being a drain on the NHS/social welfare system.

    As I said, many thanks go to MSE.
  • marliepandamarliepanda
    7.2K posts
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    So the council gave you the money back as soon as you provided proof of the SMI.

    Yet youre still unhappy because you feel they should have someone known this without you asking/telling them?
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • CISCIS Forumite
    11.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
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    First and foremost, this is not a windfall, like the Lottery, this is restitution of monies unlawfully demanded by the Taxation Authority while the statute says the payer is disregarded, and it is bordering on fraudulent for the Authority to keep it. The Taxation Authority is collecting taxes in your name and my name, and cannot be seen to collect unlawfully at the expense of SMI persons.
    There was nothing unlawful, the local authority are the ones who make the legal determination based on the evidence they hold - if there is no evidence that a discount/exemption applies then it will, correctly, not be granted. Once information has been provided to the local authority they have correctly revised their decision - they don't know what they don't know.

    The reason it has to be backdated is nothing to do with the lawfulness of it - the reason it is backdated is that council tax legislation makes no provision for preventing a discount/exemption being backdated. (Although there are arguments which can occur with local authorities regarding backdating)
    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.
  • w06w06 Forumite
    917 posts
    shock horror council tax departments aren't psychic and require someone to apply for discounts and exemptions!
  • NingalooNingaloo Forumite
    157 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Mortgage-free Glee! Home Insurance Hacker!
    May I kindly ask for advice here?

    Is there any timescale related to this?

    My Aunt passed away a couple of years ago and I was her sole relative, carer and Executor. She had lived independently since the 1980's until she became too frail and then had to move to a care home for the last 6 years of her life. She paid full council tax whilst having a SMI for her whole adult life.

    Would I be able to submit a claim to her Council?

    Thank you.
    Thank you to everyone who has helped me MoneySave
  • Afraid_of_KittensAfraid_of_Kittens Forumite
    342 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    There is no cut off point for backdating an exemption and it doesn't matter if the claimant has since died. It is worth applying and gathering together the necessary paperwork - although refunds would probably be sent to whoever administered her estate. A case of if you don't ask you don't get. I can see the council being a bit over officious in any claim received for retrospective backdating of a deceased council tax payer.
    I enjoy flower arranging, kittens, devil worship, the study of serial killers and their methods and road kill jigsaws.
  • CISCIS Forumite
    11.9K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
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    Ningaloo wrote: »
    May I kindly ask for advice here?

    Is there any timescale related to this?

    My Aunt passed away a couple of years ago and I was her sole relative, carer and Executor. She had lived independently since the 1980's until she became too frail and then had to move to a care home for the last 6 years of her life. She paid full council tax whilst having a SMI for her whole adult life.

    Would I be able to submit a claim to her Council?

    Thank you.

    Legally there is nothing in legislation which prevents the backdating of a discount or exemption however many local authorities will try and argue that there is a 6 year limit on backdating. It can (and does) lead to to arguments and valuation tribunals. Really all that can be done though is to make an application and see where it gets you.
    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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