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  • FIRST POST
    • Ray her
    • By Ray her 15th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • 1Posts
    • 0Thanks
    Ray her
    Severe mental impairment
    • #1
    • 15th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    Severe mental impairment 15th Dec 17 at 9:46 PM
    After watching Martin Lewis advising people who live with someone who have a severe mental impairment may qualify for a reduction in their council tax so I followed his links from the website and put forward a claim.
    I have recently been asked by the council for documentary evidence of my income and statements of all my bank accounts.
    I was given the impression by the TV program that this was a benefit that wasn't means tested.
    Does anyone have any experience in this area? Many thanks
Page 1
    • elmer
    • By elmer 16th Dec 17, 9:20 AM
    • 817 Posts
    • 1,424 Thanks
    elmer
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 17, 9:20 AM
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 17, 9:20 AM
    You have maybe applied for the wrong thing, have they sent you a reply, does it have a claim number?
    If you have a claim number you have perhaps applied for a means tested benefit?

    Call them and ask

    elmer
    • CIS
    • By CIS 16th Dec 17, 11:45 AM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    • #3
    • 16th Dec 17, 11:45 AM
    • #3
    • 16th Dec 17, 11:45 AM
    I suspect you've asked for a 'council tax reduction' and they've taken that to mean you want to claim council tax reduction (ctr), this is means tested.

    You need to specifically apply for the SMI disregard, this is not means tested.

    Craig
    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.
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 16th Dec 17, 12:58 PM
    • 1,662 Posts
    • 789 Thanks
    Mersey
    • #4
    • 16th Dec 17, 12:58 PM
    • #4
    • 16th Dec 17, 12:58 PM
    After watching Martin Lewis advising people who live with someone who have a severe mental impairment may qualify for a reduction in their council tax so I followed his links from the website and put forward a claim.
    I have recently been asked by the council for documentary evidence of my income and statements of all my bank accounts.
    I was given the impression by the TV program that this was a benefit that wasn't means tested.
    Does anyone have any experience in this area? Many thanks
    Originally posted by Ray her


    Sadly this shows what Martin said: some Council staff just appear unaware the smi rebate even exists.


    As others have suggested: there's no need to apply for this or supply any income info, as it is not a means-tested benefit, but a statutory right.


    Send an email FAO: Manager, Revenue/Benefits and ask them to reply within 28 days. You might also suggest that the authority puts the smi rebate on their website.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 16th Dec 17, 1:51 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 17, 1:51 PM
    • #5
    • 16th Dec 17, 1:51 PM
    After watching Martin Lewis advising people who live with someone who have a severe mental impairment may qualify for a reduction in their council tax so I followed his links from the website and put forward a claim.
    I have recently been asked by the council for documentary evidence of my income and statements of all my bank accounts.
    I was given the impression by the TV program that this was a benefit that wasn't means tested.
    Does anyone have any experience in this area? Many thanks
    Originally posted by Ray her
    Which local authority is it ?

    It is a statutory right to receive a discount or exemption but unless the council are aware that a person may be SMI and don't follow it up then the annual council tax demand, which contains a summary of discounts and exemptions, and the information on the council website is deemed to be sufficient notice.

    I very much doubt this is a case of the council staff not knowing about SMI, it's more a case of a miss communication in what was wanted and easily resolved.
    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.
    • Vortigern
    • By Vortigern 17th Dec 17, 12:17 AM
    • 2,460 Posts
    • 1,660 Thanks
    Vortigern
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 17, 12:17 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Dec 17, 12:17 AM
    I was given the impression by the TV program that this was a benefit that wasn't means tested.
    Does anyone have any experience in this area?
    Originally posted by Ray her
    The TV programme is correct; this is not a means tested benefit and no financial info should be required.

    I applied on behalf of an elderly relative using a form downloaded from their local authority website. (Leeds City Council)
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 11th Jan 18, 3:03 AM
    • 1,662 Posts
    • 789 Thanks
    Mersey
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 3:03 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 3:03 AM

    the information on the council website is deemed to be sufficient notice.

    I very much doubt this is a case of the council staff not knowing about SMI, it's more a case of a miss communication in what was wanted and easily resolved.
    Originally posted by CIS


    That was Martin Lewis's very point. A plurality of councils surveyed failed to list the smi rebate at all on their websites.


    Miss Communication would be an appropriate name for some LA staff in my experience hoho
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
    • Rich2808
    • By Rich2808 12th Jan 18, 12:31 PM
    • 615 Posts
    • 469 Thanks
    Rich2808
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:31 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jan 18, 12:31 PM
    It's explained here

    https://www.counciltaxadvisors.co.uk/scotland/council-tax/disabled-reduction/

    You need to apply for council tax reduction - not council tax support which is means tested. In effect you will get a 25 per cent discount - similar to single person discount.

    So search for council tax reduction for disabled people on your council website. If you name the council we can find the right link!
    • CIS
    • By CIS 12th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jan 18, 1:17 PM
    'Council Tax Reduction' and 'Council Tax Support' (CTR/CTS) are one and the same - they both describe the same means tested system, that why there's often confusion.

    What the OP needs to apply for is a 'SMI disregard' (any discount/exemption flows from that disregard) - the link in the previous post is for what is commonly known as the 'Disabled Band Reduction', works in a different way to a Council Tax disregard or CTR/CTS,
    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.
    • Jan5511
    • By Jan5511 13th Jan 18, 12:24 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Jan5511
    Hi - my first ever post/question so hope someone can help me. I applied to my council on a SevereIy mentally impaired form for my mother who was diagnosed in 2013 a letter came back saying she would get back her payments from 2013 which they advised was £5194 now after sending forms they asked for, my power of attorney, and confirmation of Attendence Allowance that she has only been receiving since September 2017 - I didn!!!8217;t know about this benefit before last year - the council have now said my mum will only receive a refund from date of Att Allowance and not date of diagnosis - £684 against £5,194 - does anyone know if this is correct? ML has previously said that the person does not need to be receiving the benefit only entitled to them. Which date should the council pay from? Many thanks if anyone can help.
    Last edited by Jan5511; 13-01-2018 at 12:30 PM. Reason: put SMI
    • Jan5511
    • By Jan5511 13th Jan 18, 12:28 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Jan5511
    !!!8220;Severely mentally impaired!!!8221;
    sorry
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Jan 18, 1:15 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    Hi - my first ever post/question so hope someone can help me. I applied to my council on a SevereIy mentally impaired form for my mother who was diagnosed in 2013 a letter came back saying she would get back her payments from 2013 which they advised was £5194 now after sending forms they asked for, my power of attorney, and confirmation of Attendence Allowance that she has only been receiving since September 2017 - I didn’t know about this benefit before last year - the council have now said my mum will only receive a refund from date of Att Allowance and not date of diagnosis - £684 against £5,194 - does anyone know if this is correct? ML has previously said that the person does not need to be receiving the benefit only entitled to them. Which date should the council pay from? Many thanks if anyone can help.
    Originally posted by Jan5511
    The entitlement only occurs for the period where a person meets all of the criteria - you are correct in that a period where a person is entitled to a benefit then it is the same as receiving it, as far as the criteria are concerned, but the proof of this is the difficult part.
    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.
    • Jan5511
    • By Jan5511 13th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Jan5511
    Many thanks for your comments I will contact the council on Monday & get them to explain their rules.
    • Stuckinarut
    • By Stuckinarut 13th Jan 18, 7:04 PM
    • 233 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    Stuckinarut
    I work within council tax and as well as a doctor certifying that a person is deemed to be severally mentally impaired they also have to be in receipt of qualifying benefits.
    • Jan5511
    • By Jan5511 13th Jan 18, 7:12 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Jan5511
    Thanks for the info - not according to Martin - he says on the site “some councils wrongly tell people they need to be receiving these benefits, that’s not correct - the law simply says you need to be eligible for them”

    Maybe it depends on the council.
    • CIS
    • By CIS 13th Jan 18, 8:13 PM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    Thanks for the info - not according to Martin - he says on the site “some councils wrongly tell people they need to be receiving these benefits, that’s not correct - the law simply says you need to be eligible for them”

    Maybe it depends on the council.
    Originally posted by Jan5511
    Which local authority is it ?

    I work within council tax and as well as a doctor certifying that a person is deemed to be severally mentally impaired they also have to be in receipt of qualifying benefits.
    Originally posted by Stuckinarut
    The SMI disregard is not a delegated power- the local authority has not power to alter or vary the rules.

    The legislation is clear that it is an entitlement to a benefit - there does not have to be an actual payment of the benefit.

    Article 3(1) of the Council Tax (discount disregards) order 1992, as amended, provides that (my emphasis):
    The condition prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 2(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act is that the person in question is entitled to one of the qualifying benefits…“.
    Last edited by CIS; 13-01-2018 at 8:17 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.
    • Jan5511
    • By Jan5511 13th Jan 18, 9:30 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Jan5511
    Local authority is Horsham District Council - if I hadn!!!8217;t been told two different things by the same council I would not be querying this. One amount was given from diagnosis - the second amount from 4 years later due to !!!8220; Class U exemption is awarded at the later date of either diagnosis 2013 or award of Attendence Allowance September 2017, therefore the account has been amended to start Class U from September 17!!!8221;

    who decides the dates? My mother could have been entitled to the Attendence Allowance sooner if I had been aware to existed.
    Last edited by Jan5511; 13-01-2018 at 9:38 PM.
    • marliepanda
    • By marliepanda 13th Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    • 5,919 Posts
    • 12,573 Thanks
    marliepanda
    I!!!8217;d imagine they could ask the doctor. Many of the conditions which qualify people for SMI are progressive so diagnosis may not necessarily mean exemption. Also many of the illnesses MAY qualify you, but may not (such as Parkinson!!!8217;s. Many have it without any mental impairments)
    • CIS
    • By CIS 14th Jan 18, 10:03 AM
    • 10,527 Posts
    • 6,082 Thanks
    CIS
    Local authority is Horsham District Council - if I hadn!!!8217;t been told two different things by the same council I would not be querying this. One amount was given from diagnosis - the second amount from 4 years later due to !!!8220; Class U exemption is awarded at the later date of either diagnosis 2013 or award of Attendence Allowance September 2017, therefore the account has been amended to start Class U from September 17!!!8221;

    who decides the dates? My mother could have been entitled to the Attendence Allowance sooner if I had been aware to existed.
    Originally posted by Jan5511
    Legislation sets the date - the date is the earliest date that the person would meet all of the relevant criteria however in real terms the local authority makes the day to day determination of which date is the correct one under legislation and they will only do so where they feel the facts show that a person met those criteria.

    It is because the local authority make the decision, based on the facts as they see them when applied to the legislation, that the right to appeal to a valuation tribunal exists.

    The valuation tribunal will apply the same tests as required in legislation but they would need to be satisfied that the facts show an entitlement to an earlier date before they would overrule the local authority. In real terms the tribunal will work on a 'balance of probabilities' basis when deciding any evidence regarding the 'entitlement'. Providing evidence is the difficult part, to prove the entitlement you'd need to demonstrate all of the aspects of entitlement, other than having received the money, were met - far easier said than done.
    Last edited by CIS; 14-01-2018 at 10:08 AM.
    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.
    • Mersey
    • By Mersey 18th Jan 18, 11:51 PM
    • 1,662 Posts
    • 789 Thanks
    Mersey
    I work within council tax and as well as a doctor certifying that a person is deemed to be severally mentally impaired they also have to be in receipt of qualifying benefits.
    Originally posted by Stuckinarut


    Untrue.


    That was Martin Lewis's very point on the MLMS - Council staff are wrongly advising residents and relatives.


    There is no requirement at all to have been in receipt of benefits in order to claim/reclaim smi CT rebates.
    Please be polite to OPs and remember this is a site for Claimants and Appellants to seek redress against their bank, ex-boss or retailer. If they wanted morality or the view of the IoD or Bank they'd ask them.
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