Request for advice from a newbie

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
Hi everyone, I am very new here but have spent a bit of time reading some threads and am so impressed and touched by how caring and supportive people are to each other, and I've got lots of useful insights.
My husband had a brain haemhorrhage about 36 years ago when he was only 36. When I met him four years later he still had a bit of a lame left leg but otherwise seemed to have recovered well.
Over the last ten years his mobility has worsened and is now extremely poor. In March this year he was diagnosed with vascular dementia - there had been problems for quite a while in all honesty but this year he seems to have deteriorated very rapidly. I am very fortunate that he has so far retained his personality although he is very withdrawn, unable to hold a conversation, spends an awful lot of time sleeping and can't function in any area without a lot of support.
We have the lower rate of Attendance Allowance and I have applied for a reduction in community tax but the doctor has signed the form to say he is not severely mentally impaired.
I don't want to take up everybody's time with a rant here but the doctor who signed the form is my husband's registered doctor. I have had a number of issues that I've been really unhappy about but I haven't confronted him, just have been making appointments with another doctor who is very helpful. Unfortunately the Receptionist must have given the form to my husband's registered doctor even though it wasn't addressed to him.
I realise this is a very minor thing compared to the awful time other people are having. I especially send good wishes to the people who have been recently bereaved. I would appreciate advice though, am I expecting something we're not entitled to? I have written a lletter to appeal the decision
 

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,669
England
Telephone your local council and ask if your husband qualifies for the 25% council tax reduction as he has a diagnosis of dementia and receives attendance allowance.

We did not have to approach our doctor for evidence.

Different councils may work differently but well worth the cost of a telephone call.
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
Telephone your local council and ask if your husband qualifies for the 25% council tax reduction as he has a diagnosis of dementia and receives attendance allowance.

We did not have to approach our doctor for evidence.

Different councils may work differently but well worth the cost of a telephone call.
Thanks Jaymor, I did phone the council who sent me forms to complete but I had to leave these for the doctor to sign 'is/is not severely mentally impaired. He ticked 'is not' and sent it direct to the council. I just wondered if people in a similar situation to mine had had the same or a different result to an application for the reduction
 

Beate

Registered User
May 21, 2014
11,839
London
Yep, our doctor had to sign the same form. What was he thinking, ticking the wrong box? Didn't he understand what the form was for?
 

Lindy50

Registered User
Dec 11, 2013
5,239
Cotswolds
This is called a council tax exemption (not a reduction, technically), and the logic behind it is that a person who cannot think through issues and decide who to vote for, should not pay local tax. Your husband should therefore receive a 100% exemption. That makes you a sole resident for council tax purposes ( unless there are other adults in the household) so you get the 25% reduction.

No, you are not asking for something to which you are not entitled. Goodness knows, there is little enough financial support available!!

However, the whole thing does revolve around the GP signature.....I'd get another form and make sure you get it to a more understanding GP.

Good luck :)

Lindy xx
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
Hi Esmeralda
According to the fact sheet on here
"the most common qualifying benefits are Attendance allowance (lower or higher rate), Disability living allowance (higher or middle rate care components) and the new Personal independence payment (lower or higher rate of the daily living component)."
so I don't see why he doesn't qualify as he gets AL.
I think it's wrong for a doctor who hasn't seen someone to sign the form, are you sure the wrong doctor signed the form, he/she may have passed it on to the right person?
Definitely it's worth appealing to the council and they have to backdate the payment to the date he became eligible (usually the date of diagnosis).
Good ;luck
K
 

Pickles53

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
2,474
Radcliffe on Trent
Just to add a quick point....when I applied I gave the date mum saw her GP and was referred to memory clinic in a covering letter. She wasn't formally diagnosed until 4 months later but the council did backdate the exemption to the date of that first GP appointment. Not sure if that is a discretionary issue but certainly worth asking for.
 

truth24

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
5,725
North Somerset
I thought that if you received AL then you automatically qualified for a 25% reduction in council tax. I don't seem to remember having to get a GP sign the form for my OH but think it happened after his trip to the Memory Clinic and perhaps I attached a copy of their report.

Sent from my GT-N5110
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
Just get the Memory Clinic to sign the forms, that's what we did ! I also send consultant reports of diagnosis but still had to get forms signed. We did get it back dated though . Just try again xx


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
You are all so kind! Thank you very much. I think if you have applied and been turned down then the route you have to go is to appeal. I have done this and am waiting for the outcome.

Dr A who signed the form is my husband's registered doctor. He confirmed the diagnosis - in a very offhand way, and didn't offer any advice or support beyond telling us to make the most of our time.

The situation with Dr A is complicated, and I have several issues about his treatment.

He made (I felt) inappropriate comments to my husband on two occasions. i..e. 'Do you realise how hard this is on your wife? She looks very tired' Like he could do anything about it!

He messed up my husband's medication twice (two different medications).

He was very dismissive of an OT and physio and refused to return telephone calls to OT who was concerned about my OH. She is a Senior Neurological OT.

He reluctantly referred us to the memory clinic on advice of the OT because I requested it. Waited 6 months for an appointment only to spend 5 minutes with a very abrupt consultant who simly confirmed the diagnosis of Temporal Lobe damage and vascular dementia. Told us there was nothing could be done. Next! No memory test or anything.

We started to see another doctor on the advice of the OT and she was lovely but the form went to Dr A probably because he is OH's registered doctor.

So sorry this has turned into a rant but I've felt so unsupported by medical services apart from the OT who had to sign us off months and months go.
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
Thanks again for all your advice. That was what I needed, I feel more confident about the appeal now.

The rest was just getting it off my chest, I'm not expecting solutions! Fortunately Dr A is leaving the practice in March.
 

Grey Lad

Registered User
Sep 12, 2014
5,736
North East Lincs
Thanks again for all your advice. That was what I needed, I feel more confident about the appeal now.

The rest was just getting it off my chest, I'm not expecting solutions! Fortunately Dr A is leaving the practice in March.
Hi just had to respond because my youngest daughter has the same name as you: fondly known as Esme. Haven't read all the thread (naughty me) but Citizen's Advice filled in the form for us - they have a specialist down there - and we received the higher rate. Hope it all gets sorted out in your favour; good luck
 

leicester61

Registered User
Aug 26, 2012
146
Leicestershire
Thanks Jaymor, I did phone the council who sent me forms to complete but I had to leave these for the doctor to sign 'is/is not severely mentally impaired. He ticked 'is not' and sent it direct to the council. I just wondered if people in a similar situation to mine had had the same or a different result to an application for the reduction
Hi esmarelda
I was told by my OH consultant and the council that alzhiemers/dementia IS classed as a severe mental impairment. I would be inclined to get another form and take it into the gp who is more helpful, or as I did and asked my OH's consultant to sign. Good Luck
Suz
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
Hi just had to respond because my youngest daughter has the same name as you: fondly known as Esme. Haven't read all the thread (naughty me) but Citizen's Advice filled in the form for us - they have a specialist down there - and we received the higher rate. Hope it all gets sorted out in your favour; good luck
Hi GL, I always enjoy your posts about the doings of yourself and the lovely Maureen. It's wonderful that you manage to have so much fun despite the inevitable down times.
It is a pretty name but not my given one alas. It's what my husband nicknamed me because he used to jokingly refer to himself as Quasimodo after he had his stroke! He has that sort of sense of humour, did have anyway. I miss it but still get the occasional glimpse!
 

esmeralda

Registered User
Nov 27, 2014
3,072
Devon
Hi esmarelda
I was told by my OH consultant and the council that alzhiemers/dementia IS classed as a severe mental impairment. I would be inclined to get another form and take it into the gp who is more helpful, or as I did and asked my OH's consultant to sign. Good Luck
Suz
Thanks Suz, that's helpful