Council Tax Disregard - Severe Mental Impairment

Discussion in 'Legal and financial issues' started by MrsV, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    59
    Hi All,

    Now that Mum is in receipt of AA being an Altzheimers Dementia sufferer she is entitled to claim Council Tax exemption, on the grounds of Severe Mental Impairment. We read about it on Martin's Money/Moneysaving Expert. So we thought we would apply and see what happens. I'm happy to report that Mum was successful, and they backdated it to the date Mum started to receive AA. I just rang the council, asked for the claim form, inserted Mums GPs name, practice addressd and phone number. They contacted the GP and he signed the certificate confirming Mum's Altzheimers diagnosis. The whole process took 6 weeks. No questions asked, the key was Mum being in receipt of AA.

    This exemption will benefit Mum tremendously, as now she can afford to go an extra day to Daycare, which she enjoys and is expensive at 45 pound a day. So if you were unsure about claiming this, don't be put off, it was a one page form, asking for minimal information.

    Hope this helps
     
  2. RosettaT

    RosettaT Registered User

    Sep 9, 2018
    152
    Female
    Mid Lincs
    I have the form, just waiting to hear about AA. I applied for my OH on 3rd April and got a holding letter last week apologising for delay but they would be intouch asap. I was told the waiting time was12 weeks for AA so shouldn't be long now.
     
  3. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,136
    Perhaps it depends on Council. I had to send hard copies if evidence plus signed form from GP. Some disregards can be done electronically but not for severe mental impairment. First I was told to do it by sending photos of evidence. This held it up but it was back dated.
     
  4. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,683
    Salford
    I did mine on line, I never filled in any paperwork and if they did get anything from the GP they did it themselves, they did ask for permission to contact the GP but whether they did it not I don't know.
    K
     
  5. AliceA

    AliceA Registered User

    May 27, 2016
    2,136
    That was what I was first told but then having taken photo and emailing across these were accepted.
    Nothing happened. So I chased it. The people I spoke to were helpful but two councils had part merged.
    One council did it one way and the other needed hard copies. Very confusing but it seems it is down to individual councils having own policy.
    I feel we need a National Policy on all health/care issues.
    People are at their most vulnerable, Carers are thrown in the deep end and expected to swim. Many families and individuals are caught by the county border system of support.
    I then received a lump sum that just did not add up. I finally realised that this was a part payment the rest came by not taking any council tax at all for the rest of the year.
    Saying that, it was and is worth it.
    I had to send hard copies then chase to get them back!!! Perhaps I was unlucky. Our council is is in the midst of change yet again!
     
  6. MrsV

    MrsV Registered User

    Apr 16, 2018
    59
    Hi
    Hi Kevini,

    Yes, I ticked the box on the paper form that I downloaded, and they contacted the GP themselves and obtained the certificate - which they attached in the confirmation, which was a tick box with the GPs rubber stamp on and date of diagnosis
     
  7. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    648
    Male
    Newcastle
    We did have to go to the GP for a signature but then just had to send a scanned copy of the form electronically. Very quick and straightforward. I agree that a procedure common to all councils would help.
     
  8. NORTHSIDE

    NORTHSIDE Registered User

    Jan 28, 2017
    75
    Male
    Northumberland
    As an aside to this, it is worth noting that GPs are not allowed to charge for signing a certificate for Mental Impairment. I had to get the certificate myself from the GP who charged 25 pounds. After a bit of research I found that a GP is not allowed to charge for this (by agreement between the BMA and the Dept for Health) and after raising this I did get a a refund.
     
  9. hillyjay

    hillyjay Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
    56
    When they talk about ‘severe mental impairment’, does having Alzheimers mean a person automatically comes into that category regardless of whether they are at mild stage or further on?
     
  10. NORTHSIDE

    NORTHSIDE Registered User

    Jan 28, 2017
    75
    Male
    Northumberland
    It's only my opinion but I suspect someone in the early stages of Alzheimers may not be classed as having severe mental impairment. For example my wife was still considered able to drive for a year or two after her diagnosis. However as the disease progressed the GP recommended that her license be withheld.
     
  11. hillyjay

    hillyjay Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
    56
    Hmmm. My husband is classed as mild stage however his licence was taken away from him after a medical report requested by DVLC.
     
  12. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,556
    Male
    North Manchester
    An SMI disregard for council tax requires two things
    • The person is eligible for a defined benefit - usual one is Attendance Allowance
    • A certificate is signed, usually by the GP, certifying that the person has 'a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning (however caused) which appears to be permanent'.
    The disregard is backdated to when both conditions were concurrent.

    Note that 'social functional' can mean things like inability to follow and take part in fast moving group conversations.
     
  13. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    7,564
    Yorkshire
    hi @hillyjay
    if your husband is in receipt of Attendance Alowance, or one of the other qualifying benefits, then apply to the Council, if they refuse this time, apply again in a few months ... nothing to lose except the time and energy spent making the application
     
  14. hillyjay

    hillyjay Registered User

    Jun 14, 2019
    56
    Thanks everyone.
     
  15. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    4,683
    Salford
    No, the definition is "" severe mental impairment" means a state of arrested or incomplete development of mind which includes severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning and is associated with abnormally aggressive or seriously irresponsible conduct on the part of the person concerned and "severely mentally impaired" shall be construed accordingly;"
    As defined in the Mental Health Act 1983 (link below).
    The Local Government Finance Act 1992 specifically disregards people with a "Severe Mental Impairment" and that phrase appears in the law so you need to prove an SMI to get the disregard to get the disregard.
    There are certain "passport" benefits that if you get them are taken as proof; PIP, DLA and AA (for the over 65's) if awarded in respect of an SMI are taken as proof usually of an SMI.
    K

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1983/20/section/1/enacted?view=plain
     
  16. nitram

    nitram Registered User

    Apr 6, 2011
    18,556
    Male
    North Manchester
    If given proof of eligibility for a qualifying benefit they can't refuse, they have to either give you the form to give to the GP or ask for formal permission to contact the GP and ask them to complete the form.
     

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