Council tax discounts for the 'severely mentally impaired'
- AuthorKelly Gill
This week saw the issue of unclaimed 'severely mentally impaired' (SMI) council tax discounts back in the news.
According to Money Saving Expert's Martin Lewis, thousands of 'severely mentally impaired' people who are entitled to a council tax discount could be missing out. The TV finance guru has been campaigning for greater awareness of the discounts since 2016 and Mr Lewis hit the headlines this week when councils in Wales launched a simple SMI application and backdating scheme. Mr Lewis now hopes that councils in England will follow suit.
To qualify for the SMI discount, a person must be medically certified as having a severe mental impairment; this means an impairment which severely (and permanently) affects their intellectual and social functioning such as dementia, Alzheimer's, severe learning difficulties and other conditions.
The law means that people who qualify can claim:
- A 25% discount – if they live with someone who is 'severely mentally impaired' and no other adults (or only adults who have also been disregarded for council tax purposes)
- A 100% discount – if they are 'severely mentally impaired' and living alone
You can find out how to claim on the Money Saving Expert web site
If someone you love has limited capacity and you need help with Wills or Lasting Powers of Attorney, contact our specialist teams in Halifax, Huddersfield or Brighouse.