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Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
150 replies 22.4K views
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  • I tried to claim this for my mother-in-law who suffered from dementia and lived with us for the last 10 years of her life. I provided doctors letter etc but the council insisted we provide proof that my wife received attendance allowance for caring for her. This is impossible to get after the event, she died in 2008.
    Has this situation changed now?

    Mick McCaffrey
    [email protected]
  • marliepandamarliepanda
    7.2K posts
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    I tried to claim this for my mother-in-law who suffered from dementia and lived with us for the last 10 years of her life. I provided doctors letter etc but the council insisted we provide proof that my wife received attendance allowance for caring for her. This is impossible to get after the event, she died in 2008.
    Has this situation changed now?

    Mick McCaffrey
    [email protected]

    You say lived with 'us' so I am assuming you and your wife.

    If you lived there with your wife as 2 adults, along with your MIL with dementia, there wouldn't be a discount for SMI as there are two adults. SMI is in effect a different approach to a single persons discount.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    I tried to claim this for my mother-in-law who suffered from dementia and lived with us for the last 10 years of her life. I provided doctors letter etc but the council insisted we provide proof that my wife received attendance allowance for caring for her. This is impossible to get after the event, she died in 2008.
    Has this situation changed now?

    Mick McCaffrey


    The situation has not changed, the rules (excepting for new qualifying benefits being added) are the same as they have been for many years. Actual receipt of a benefit is not required, what is required is an entitlement - proving entitlement however is almost impossible as DWP will not confirm entitlement.
    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.
  • I was thinking this myself, I have a friend who has minor brain problems following a stroke, was sectioned twice and after his mum died turned to drink and drugs for a while and still now and again has a heavy drinking session when stressed and lacks that something to help himself, was messed around by DWP as well but also has some self inflicted problems due to anxiety and depression, he now gets UC as he works a few hours a week so gets housing benefit but his CT is about £50 a month and hes in huge debt. Wondering if I can get this sorted.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    dekaspace wrote: »
    I was thinking this myself, I have a friend who has minor brain problems following a stroke, was sectioned twice and after his mum died turned to drink and drugs for a while and still now and again has a heavy drinking session when stressed and lacks that something to help himself, was messed around by DWP as well but also has some self inflicted problems due to anxiety and depression, he now gets UC as he works a few hours a week so gets housing benefit but his CT is about £50 a month and hes in huge debt. Wondering if I can get this sorted.
    Possibly, if you can get the Dr to certify the SMI status as to him having a "severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent" as well as meeting the benefit criteria.
    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.
  • calcotticalcotti Forumite
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    dekaspace wrote: »
    ..he now gets UC as he works a few hours a week so gets housing benefit but his CT is about £50 a month and hes in huge debt. Wondering if I can get this sorted.

    If he isn't already doing so he should apply for Council Tax Reduction from his local authority to help with the Council Tax.
    Information I post is for England unless otherwise stated. Some rules may be different in other parts of UK.
  • marliepandamarliepanda
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    calcotti wrote: »
    If he isn't already doing so he should apply for Council Tax Reduction from his local authority to help with the Council Tax.

    Its highly unlikely CT would be only £50 a month without CTR. Lowest bandings are usually around £100 a month.
  • All I know he gets is single person discount, and council tax benefit still makes it £50 a month, he does have seizures so has health issues but his mental health means he gets stressed out easily and lets things slide, I mentioned on another thread before he was all but offered a council flat but he had a panic attack and decided not to go and convinced himself the neighbours would be junkies, everyone would judge him same reason he hasn't got a bus pass though is entitled to one hes in denial and with severe anxiety and mental health problems which is sad as thats the reason he now and again turns to drink to clear his stress but it makes him agressive.
  • marliepandamarliepanda
    7.2K posts
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    dekaspace wrote: »
    All I know he gets is single person discount, and council tax benefit still makes it £50 a month, he does have seizures so has health issues but his mental health means he gets stressed out easily and lets things slide, I mentioned on another thread before he was all but offered a council flat but he had a panic attack and decided not to go and convinced himself the neighbours would be junkies, everyone would judge him same reason he hasn't got a bus pass though is entitled to one hes in denial and with severe anxiety and mental health problems which is sad as thats the reason he now and again turns to drink to clear his stress but it makes him agressive.

    SMI is awarded on the basis that he would have no 'say' in what his Ctax was spent on, such as in the voting for local counsellors and voting for the one who he felt would serve his needs best (whether that is followed through is another political argument)

    Its not about having mental health issues, its an impairment of intelligence such that he would have no idea what he was voting for his money to be spent on.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    Its not about having mental health issues, its an impairment of intelligence such that he would have no idea what he was voting for his money to be spent on.


    Regardless of the original intention of the SMI disregard that aspect isn't a specific point under the council tax SMI criteria. It could only be considered by a Dr as part of the overall consideration as to whether or not a person has the required impairment but it isn't a make or break requirement.
    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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