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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Megan F
    • By MSE Megan F 29th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    • 309Posts
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    MSE Megan F
    MSE News: Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are severely mentally impaired
    • #1
    • 29th Sep 17, 8:28 AM
    MSE News: Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are severely mentally impaired 29th Sep 17 at 8:28 AM
    A major investigation by MoneySavingExpert.com reveals 10,000s of the most vulnerable people in England, Scotland and Wales are being overcharged up to £400 a year due to a council tax postcode lottery...
    Read the full story:
    'Revealed: Councils overcharging 10,000s who are 'severely mentally impaired''

    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Luke; 29-09-2017 at 11:57 AM.
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Page 3
    • John-K
    • By John-K 6th Mar 18, 7:21 AM
    • 654 Posts
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    John-K
    Wrong. Bipolar is classed as SMI. It is the sixth leading cause of disability in the world and the third most debilitating mental illness worldwide. Also, your tone seems to suggest that everyone who seeks state help is "taking the urine". Can I ask if you yourself suffer with any type of MH issues?
    Originally posted by Greenforgo
    You have to wilfully misread the post to take that line, are you just looking for a fight?

    The post to which you referred mentioned the problem that it could cause for genuine claimants, so how on Earth can you take from that that everyone who asks for help should not be?
    • John-K
    • By John-K 6th Mar 18, 7:23 AM
    • 654 Posts
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    John-K
    I did describe a general over view of bipolar (and I'm sorry if that upset your sensibilities) but I didn't feel that I needed to quote from my journal. I am responding to the comment "Bipolar isn't an SMI"
    Originally posted by Greenforgo
    But that is not true. That post is still there, you can go back and read it again if you want. You should maybe apologise...
    • Patr100
    • By Patr100 6th Mar 18, 1:45 PM
    • 1,347 Posts
    • 569 Thanks
    Patr100
    See my previous post on claiming for my late mother.
    Here's a fuller quote from the guidelines. Note the difference from the definition of SMI in the Mental Health Act, for example.

    Other points are:
    It's possible that one doctor will support an application while another may not. It's possible that some doctors may consider some conditions as non permanent - or treatment may potentially reduce or eliminate some symptoms, depends how you interpret the "permanent" aspect as a clinician. The pro forma for local authorities differs. Some have a form , others require a letter.
    If you've got your GP /doctor on your side to support and apply then fine. But I still had ,as I said earlier, the LA writing directly to my then 91 year old mum, to ask if her "permanent SMI" due to vascular dementia had changed and if so , she would no longer be eligible and if "she" didnt reply, the concession could be removed.


    DEFINITION OF SEVERE MENTAL IMPAIRMENT AND CONDITIONS FOR DISCOUNT
    The definition of severe mental impairment under the Act is exactly the same as for community charge purposes (under the Local Government Finance Act 1988 as amended). For the purposes of the Act a person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent This definition applies only for the purposes of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The definition is not the same as the definition of ;severe mental impairment in the Mental Health Act 1983.
    A severely mentally impaired person will still satisfy the conditions for a discount from the council tax (and may be absolved of liability of the council tax) where:
    I. he is severely mentally impaired as defined above: and
    II. he satisfies at least one of a number of benefit conditions and
    III. he is stated to be severely mentally impaired in a certificate provided by a registered
    medical practitioner
    !!!61623; In making a judgment on whether someone is severely mentally impaired it may be helpful for doctors to
    know the reason for discount from the council tax. The aim of the council tax is to give taxpayers a direct
    stake in the spending decisions of local authorities. Clearly this kind of accountability is much less
    successful in the case of someone who is severely mentally impaired to the extent that he or she does not
    have an understanding of local issues.
    Doctors may wish to be aware that being classified as severely mentally impaired for the purpose of the
    Local Government Finance Act 1992 does not affect the right to vote or to be included in the electoral
    register which is complied separately and with different qualifying criteria
    And this bit repeated below struck me as well. How many other people might be considered (for health or other reasons) not to have an "understanding of local issues"?

    n making a judgment on whether someone is severely mentally impaired it may be helpful for doctors to know the reason for discount from the council tax. The aim of the council tax is to give taxpayers a direct stake in the spending decisions of local authorities. Clearly this kind of accountability is much less successful in the case of someone who is severely mentally impaired to the extent that he or she does not have an understanding of local issues.
    Last edited by Patr100; 06-03-2018 at 1:52 PM.
    ---I Shop Therefore I Am ---
    • Patr100
    • By Patr100 6th Mar 18, 6:01 PM
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    Patr100
    There's also the question of "permanence".
    I've no doubt (I have suffered from chronic clinical depression in the past, thankfully not in recent years, and never to the extent of hospitalisation) that many conditions can be terrible and at times life threatening, but either with time, or treatment , or both , they can be controlled/minimised , change or hopefully pass for many. Though I accept not in all cases.

    I guess this is where the GP or doctors assessment and judgement is part of the equation. If there is little prospect of improvement in a condition, they may understandably err on the side of caution.
    Last edited by Patr100; 06-03-2018 at 6:05 PM.
    ---I Shop Therefore I Am ---
    • Ames
    • By Ames 6th Mar 18, 6:39 PM
    • 17,290 Posts
    • 30,460 Thanks
    Ames
    I have Type II Bipolar and I've never read the regs as applying to me.

    I worry that if some doctors are signing the forms for things like bipolar the end result will be the benefit being withdrawn for everyone.
    Unless I say otherwise 'you' means the general you not you specifically.
    • caz340
    • By caz340 7th Mar 18, 3:23 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    caz340
    Council tax Exampt
    Hi i Filled in the forms and had them signed by doctor for severely mentally impaired but because myself and her grandson her carers lived with her as shed needed 24/7 care everything doing for her was blind couldn't walk Alzheimer's and dementia etc and would not give it still had to pay full amount and house was mothers in her name.
    surely this shouldn't happen and she shouldn't of had to pay

    any ideas anyone
    • CIS
    • By CIS 7th Mar 18, 3:33 PM
    • 10,524 Posts
    • 6,081 Thanks
    CIS
    Hi i Filled in the forms and had them signed by doctor for severely mentally impaired but because myself and her grandson her carers lived with her as shed needed 24/7 care everything doing for her was blind couldn't walk Alzheimer's and dementia etc and would not give it still had to pay full amount and house was mothers in her name.
    surely this shouldn't happen and she shouldn't of had to pay

    any ideas anyone
    Originally posted by caz340
    Where there are other occs in the property who are not students/SMI then a charge will apply, there can be no exemption. The best that can be granted would be a 50% discount if every occupier was disregarded - for there to have been no reduction at all applied then there must have been at least 2 resident adults who were not disregarded for council tax purposes.

    If you believe that there should have been disregards applied to other residents then you need to go back to the council as they are the only people who can determine any reduction.
    Last edited by CIS; 07-03-2018 at 3:36 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • _shel
    • By _shel 7th Mar 18, 3:34 PM
    • 1,182 Posts
    • 2,042 Thanks
    _shel
    Hi i Filled in the forms and had them signed by doctor for severely mentally impaired but because myself and her grandson her carers lived with her as shed needed 24/7 care everything doing for her was blind couldn't walk Alzheimer's and dementia etc and would not give it still had to pay full amount and house was mothers in her name.
    surely this shouldn't happen and she shouldn't of had to pay

    any ideas anyone
    Originally posted by caz340
    No, because you both live there who don't have SMI the discount is 0. If she lived alone or with other adults with SMI she wouldn't have to pay.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 7th Mar 18, 4:16 PM
    • 5,904 Posts
    • 12,513 Thanks
    marliepanda
    Hi i Filled in the forms and had them signed by doctor for severely mentally impaired but because myself and her grandson her carers lived with her as shed needed 24/7 care everything doing for her was blind couldn't walk Alzheimer's and dementia etc and would not give it still had to pay full amount and house was mothers in her name.
    surely this shouldn't happen and she shouldn't of had to pay

    any ideas anyone
    Originally posted by caz340
    She didnít have to, but you and her grandson, assuming both over 18, had to pay.

    There are discounts available for being a carer but there was likely to still be a charge as I do think both of you could have claimed the carers.

    Who the house belongs to is irrelevant in this case.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 7th Mar 18, 5:21 PM
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    CIS
    Who the house belongs to is irrelevant in this case.
    It would be relevant as far as who is named on the demand notice as liable to pay, if the mother was SMI but the sole resident owner/tenant she would remain liable.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 7th Mar 18, 6:06 PM
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    marliepanda
    It would be relevant as far as who is named on the demand notice as liable to pay, if the mother was SMI but the sole resident owner/tenant she would remain liable.
    Originally posted by CIS
    But in this case, she wasnít the sole resident.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 7th Mar 18, 6:48 PM
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    CIS
    But in this case, she wasn!!!8217;t the sole resident.
    Originally posted by marliepanda
    The key aspect in my earlier post is ' sole resident owner/tenant'* - a resident occupier who is SMI and who falls liable under s6(1) and s6(2) of the LGFA 1992 remains liable even whilst they are SMI unless there is a joint owner/tenant who is not SMI; in that particular case that resident joint owner/tenant would assume sole liability under s6(4) of the LGFA 1992.

    * any other occupiers are not relevant to the liability decision unless they fall jointly liable under s6 of the LGFA 1992
    Last edited by CIS; 07-03-2018 at 7:17 PM.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • caz340
    • By caz340 8th Mar 18, 3:48 PM
    • 4 Posts
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    caz340
    can i get the council tax back mother had to pay when she was exempt just because she had me and my son living with her they wouldnt give her it
    • caz340
    • By caz340 8th Mar 18, 3:57 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    caz340
    the council tax bill was in mothers name she was owner of house but because i was her carer and lived with her as she needed 24/7 supervision and my son used to help yes over 18 they wouldn't give her it but she couldn't live on her own couldn't walk was blind had both Alzheimer and vascular dementia the council is an absolute disgrace because of this we couldn't afford care to come in and help.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Mar 18, 4:32 PM
    • 10,524 Posts
    • 6,081 Thanks
    CIS
    the council tax bill was in mothers name she was owner of house but because i was her carer and lived with her as she needed 24/7 supervision and my son used to help yes over 18 they wouldn't give her it but she couldn't live on her own couldn't walk was blind had both Alzheimer and vascular dementia the council is an absolute disgrace because of this we couldn't afford care to come in and help.
    Originally posted by caz340
    It appears at the moment that they have applied legislation as they are required to do, they have no discretion in the matter and so have acted correctly based on the disregards awarded.

    If however you apply for and meet the carers disregard criteria then a 25% discount could be applied as both yourself and your mother would be disregarded. If you and your son could both be disregarded then a 50% discount would apply as all occupiers are disregarded.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
    • caz340
    • By caz340 8th Mar 18, 4:41 PM
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    caz340
    my son was here helping i put him down as living here as he was staying at weekends to help me, but this wasn't his full time home so i don't think he should of been counted and im not counted as a carer so they shouldn't of billed mother she should of been exempt
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 8th Mar 18, 5:33 PM
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    • 12,513 Thanks
    marliepanda
    my son was here helping i put him down as living here as he was staying at weekends to help me, but this wasn't his full time home so i don't think he should of been counted and im not counted as a carer so they shouldn't of billed mother she should of been exempt
    Originally posted by caz340
    No thatís not how it works.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 8th Mar 18, 5:55 PM
    • 10,524 Posts
    • 6,081 Thanks
    CIS
    my son was here helping i put him down as living here as he was staying at weekends to help me, but this wasn't his full time home so i don't think he should of been counted and im not counted as a carer so they shouldn't of billed mother she should of been exempt
    Originally posted by caz340
    If it was not his 'sole or main residence' then he is not regarded as being resident for council tax purposes and should not have been listed with the council as being so. If the council have him as resident then you need to contact them to correct their records but they'll want proof.

    If that can be shown to be the case and you and mother were the only occupiers who had their 'sole or main residence' in the property then a 25% discount applies where your mother was disregarded as SMI. If you were also disregarded then a 50% discount would apply.

    An exemption can only apply where there is one occupier, and they are SMI, or there are multiple occupiers and they are all SMI. Legislation prevents the exemption applying where there are non-SMI occupiers (unless those occupiers are full time students).

    The difficulty here is that more information is being given with each post so it's hard to give an answer without all the details.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a self employed Council Tax specialist. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
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