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Backdate Council Tax Discount for Severely Mentally Impaired to the date Certified by the GP.

Browny10

New member
Dec 20, 2019
3
The Problem
There is a need to clarify the Local Government Finance Act 1992 so that all Councils in England Backdate Council Tax Discount SMI Disregard . (SMI Severely Mentally Impaired)
Why is this important?
There are 850,000 people with Dementia in the UK and if a household has a person with Dementia (Severe Mental Impairment) such as Alzheimer's Disease or Vascular Dementia the local council is required to disregard (Not Count) the person with Dementia for the purposes of Council Tax. The current legislation says that the person must also be entitled to, but not necessarily in receipt of, a "Qualifying Benefit". For the majority of Dementia sufferers this will be Attendance Allowance, which requires the person to be over 65, have been in need of day/night care for a minimum of 6 months and the Department of Work and Pensions who administer Attendance Allowance must be in receipt of an application form for the benefit.
Because the legislation is unclear, many councils choose to backdate to the date of receipt of Attendance Allowance as this is the last date and therefore minimising the cost of backdating the council tax discount.
My beautiful wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in early 2018, our council only backdate to the date of receipt of Attendance Allowance and I have been pushing them to change their policy. Central Government insist it is a local issue but the legislation is so unclear that many councils naturally choose the cheapest option.
Also there is no method (pathway) of informing sufferers and carers that either Attendance Allowance or Council Tax Discount is available, both of which are not means tested. Many carers do not apply for Attendance Allowance because they think it is means tested and it is a lengthy 31 page application form. Public Health England say that they cannot disclose details of anyone with Dementia to responsible charities because of privacy and data protection issues so people find out purely by chance.
One Solution
One way to solve the problem is to clarify the legislation which has already built into it in Schedule 1, section (3) the statement:- "The Secretary of State (Matt Hancock) may by order substitute another definition.."
In order to clarify the Local Government Finance Act 1992 I am looking to add:-"Having met the requirement to entitlement to one of the qualifying benefits the person shall be disregarded from the day certified by the registered medical practitioner".

I have started a petition and I need your signature to raise this in parliament, please use the link below :-

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petiti...b9&source=email-share-button&utm_source=email
 

Tuddily

Registered User
Mar 25, 2020
10
This is interesting to read I only found out in February that a person with dementia does not pay council tax during a conversation with a friend. My mum was initially diagnosed with Alziemers in January 2017. She paid her council tax right up until September of that year when she went into a care home.
So I visited the council offices to reclaim this. I was given a rather inappropriate form to complete and get signed by the doctors and to return it with all the information I offered on the day of my visit.
It was really obvious that not many people are aware of the fact that there is an exemption from council tax and the there is no paperwork to claim this.
Due to the corona lockdown I have not been able to proceed with the process of returning the form personally as yet but do intend to do so. There is a considerable amount of money overpaid which would help my mum financially.
 

My Mum's Daughter

Registered User
Feb 8, 2020
35
We were told that the disregard for council tax depended on receipt of the attendance allowance. AA forms were completed back in January and only last week, we heard that this allowance would be paid.
I now have to feed this back to the memory team who will sort out the council tax but I feel I should wait until after lockdown.
 

Tuddily

Registered User
Mar 25, 2020
10
So do I.! I fear if I post anything it may end up mislaid. The form I dropped at the doctors did. It is now on it's way back to me.
 

Browny10

New member
Dec 20, 2019
3
Dear M, My Mum's Daughter, Having asked every UK council, They all require that a person is "entitled" to say Attendance Allowance, but not all require that they are "in receipt of" Attendance Allowance.
Strictly speaking, in order to be "entitled" to AA the person must be in need of day and/or night time attendance to satisfy their domestic or safety needs for a period of 6 months. If you have been notified that you will receive Attendance Allowance, the form to claim Council Tax discount is relatively simple and I would suggest you phone and ask your council to send/email you a copy of the form which when you have completed your section, then needs to go to your GP.
This part of the process is straight forward and shouldn't take very long.
The start date for the Council Tax Discount is the issue I am attempting to clarify and varies throughout the UK, but this does not effect the need to complete the application form.