If you live with someone who has a severe mental impairment and there are no other adults in the home, you may be able to reduce your council tax bill by 25%.
If you don’t live with the person with a severe mental impairment as they can still manage to live alone, they are eligible for a 100% reduction.
In some cases where the reduction could have been applied for earlier, a backdated discount can be claimed; although this will vary depending on the council.
To qualify for the reduction:
- A doctor has to certify that the person you care for has an impairment and it must be severe enough to affect their intelligence and social functioning on a permanent basis—which will include dementia, Parkinson’s, severe stroke and other neurological illnesses.
- The person you care for is eligible for, but does NOT have to be receiving, one of the following benefits:
- Incapacity benefit
- Attendance allowance
- Severe disablement allowance
- Disability living allowance (higher or middle-rate care component)
- Increase in disablement pension (due to constant attendance being needed)
- Unemployability supplement or allowance
- Constant attendance allowance
- Income support (which includes a disability premium)
- Personal independence payment (standard or enhanced daily living component)
- Armed forces independence payment
In England and Wales these benefits also apply:
- Disability working allowance (based on getting income support including disability premium)
- Universal credit (including an element for limited capability for work or limited capability for work and work-related activity)
In Scotland these benefits also apply:
- Tax credits (including disability element)
- Employment and support allowance
- Universal credit
How to apply:
The process can vary depending on the area you, or the person you care for lives in. To find out exactly you will need to contact your local authority.
There are some standard steps though:
- Getting a doctor’s written diagnosis. This may have to be attached to your claim, or in some areas you can give your doctor’s details and they’ll be contacted for confirmation.
- Get a claim form from your Local Authority to apply for a reduction (see the Government’s ‘Apply for Council Tax Reduction’ for help). You may be asked to attach some supporting evidence, such as the doctor’s diagnosis or evidence of receipt of relevant benefits.
- If the person with a severe mental impairment doesn’t claim a benefit, you may need a letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) confirming they are eligible. (Better still, help them to claim their entitlement).
- Apply for a backdated discount separately; you’ll need to explain that the criteria for a discount applied earlier, but you don’t have to explain why you didn’t apply.
- In Northern Ireland it works differently. There’s a rates system instead of council tax, meaning that every property is valued individually. See full info on the NIdirect
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