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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Sarah
    • By MSE Sarah 27th Nov 17, 4:54 PM
    • 145Posts
    • 71Thanks
    MSE Sarah
    Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’
    • #1
    • 27th Nov 17, 4:54 PM
    Council tax discounts for ‘severe mental impairment’ 27th Nov 17 at 4:54 PM


    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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Page 1
    • CIS
    • By CIS 27th Nov 17, 7:59 PM
    • 10,702 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    CIS
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 7:59 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Nov 17, 7:59 PM


    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
    Originally posted by 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
    Last edited by CIS; 27-11-2017 at 8:03 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax paralegal. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • bucklnwr
    • By bucklnwr 28th Feb 18, 3:16 PM
    • 2 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    bucklnwr
    • #3
    • 28th Feb 18, 3:16 PM
    Council tax discount for mental impairment.
    • #3
    • 28th Feb 18, 3:16 PM
    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
    • By marliepanda 28th Feb 18, 3:22 PM
    • 6,581 Posts
    • 14,145 Thanks
    marliepanda
    • #4
    • 28th Feb 18, 3:22 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Feb 18, 3:22 PM
    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
    Originally posted by bucklnwr
    Entitlement does not always equal receiving, but on the most part if you are SMI then you would be receiving.
    • sarah49
    • By sarah49 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sarah49
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    means tested!
    • #5
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    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
    • By sarah49 12th Apr 18, 12:49 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sarah49
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:49 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:49 PM
    Also, Swindon council asked for proof of his RECEIVING benefit, not just entitlement!
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Apr 18, 12:59 PM
    • 10,702 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    CIS
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:59 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Apr 18, 12:59 PM
    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
    Originally posted by sarah49
    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 self employed Council Tax paralegal. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • sarah49
    • By sarah49 12th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sarah49
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Apr 18, 5:36 PM
    Thanks CIS, do you know of anywhere I can get written proof?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Apr 18, 6:18 PM
    • 10,702 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    CIS
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:18 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Apr 18, 6:18 PM
    Thanks CIS, do you know of anywhere I can get written proof?
    Originally posted by sarah49
    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 self employed Council Tax paralegal. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • sarah49
    • By sarah49 12th Apr 18, 6:35 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sarah49
    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
    • By CIS 12th Apr 18, 7:21 PM
    • 10,702 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    CIS
    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...
    Originally posted by sarah49
    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 self employed Council Tax paralegal. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • sarah49
    • By sarah49 16th Apr 18, 3:49 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    sarah49
    Many thanks for your help. Swindon council has finally agreed that he is exempt! Yeehah! !!!55357;!!!56835;
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 16th Apr 18, 7:50 PM
    • 6,581 Posts
    • 14,145 Thanks
    marliepanda
    Many thanks for your help. Swindon council has finally agreed that he is exempt! Yeehah! !!!55357;!!!56835;
    Originally posted by sarah49
    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 W
    • By Glynis W 7th May 18, 4:43 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Glynis W
    Wirral Borough Council
    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!!!
    • richard/redditch
    • By richard/redditch 11th May 18, 10:33 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    richard/redditch
    Successful claim in Redditch - £7008 refunded
    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.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 11th May 18, 10:37 AM
    • 6,581 Posts
    • 14,145 Thanks
    marliepanda
    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?
    • CIS
    • By CIS 11th May 18, 11:04 AM
    • 10,702 Posts
    • 6,196 Thanks
    CIS
    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 self employed Council Tax paralegal. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • w06
    • By w06 11th May 18, 11:12 AM
    • 746 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks
    w06
    shock horror council tax departments aren't psychic and require someone to apply for discounts and exemptions!
    • Ningaloo
    • By Ningaloo 12th May 18, 4:17 PM
    • 145 Posts
    • 111 Thanks
    Ningaloo
    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 Kittens
    • By Afraid of Kittens 12th May 18, 5:15 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 151 Thanks
    Afraid of Kittens
    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.
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