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Council tax discounts

Last updated on: 25-Nov-2020

5. Mental health conditions

People classed as severely mentally impaired, can be completely disregarded for council tax purposes. This means they do not have to pay council tax, or they may pay a reduced rate. This applies to anyone who meets all of the following criteria:

  • Has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent
  • Has a certificate or completed Severely Mentally Impaired form confirming this impairment from a registered medical practitioner, usually the person's GP or consultant.
  • Is entitled to certain disability benefits – the most common qualifying benefits are:
    • Attendance allowance (lower or higher rate)
    • Disability living allowance (higher or middle rate care components)
    • The new Personal independence payment (lower or higher rate of the daily living component).

Many people with dementia meet all three criteria, so are disregarded under the severe mental impairment rules.

Living alone or with others who have dementia

If all the adults living at a property meet the three severe mental impairment criteria, the property is exempt. This means that no council tax needs to be paid.

Example – Ivy had been claiming the single person's discount on her council tax bill because she lived alone. After her diagnosis of vascular dementia she successfully claimed Attendance allowance. Her GP then signed her form under the severe mental impairment rules and her house is now exempt. She pays no council tax.

However, if other people who are not severely mentally impaired also live at the property, payment is required. The amount depends on their circumstances.

Example – Alan and Joy are married. Alan meets the 'severely mentally impaired' criteria as set out above, and is therefore disregarded. That means Joy is treated as living alone, even though she isn't. They will get the 25% 'living alone' discount.

Apply for this discount

In order to grant an exemption we will need to see a certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner, usually the person's doctor, to confirm each resident's condition. The residents must be entitled to receive one from a list of qualifying state benefit payments.

If you think a property should be exempt from council tax then please complete our application form.

The application form includes a certificate for the doctor to complete and it lists the qualifying state benefits. The application form can be completed by someone else on behalf of the occupant. If there is more than one severely mentally impaired occupant we will need a copy of the application form completed for each of them.

Person Held Under The Mental Health Act

When a person is held in a hospital or any other place under the Mental Health Act 1983 they may be disregarded for council tax purposes. This means they would not be included when we count the number of people at the address.

If you think a member of your household should be disregarded please contact us on 01474 337700.

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