Today, Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert praised Wales for taking up his recommendations for promoting awareness of the laws surrounding council tax reductions for those with severe mental impairments (e.g. dementia patients).
The current law states that someone must be medically certified as having a severe mental impairment (e.g. dementia etc.) – can be ‘disregarded for council tax purposes’ in England, Scotland and Wales – in a similar way that students are, for example.
Martin Lewis and MSE been speaking about this since 2016 – finally 10/04/2019 Wales is implementing their suggested changes which are basically just making sure the councils have one common application
As the law is designed to help people who are living with mental impairment which makes them vulnerable and therefore extra signposting may be required to help the right people access the right help.
In 2017, MSE conducted a survey in which they posed as mystery callers with SMIs (severe mental impairments) and a stunning 69 out of 100 councils failed to direct the callers to the correct discount. 5 of the councils falsely claimed that no discount for SMI adults existed.
Martin Lewis claims the councils are just misinformed and that awareness of the law and benefits available are sorely lacking – rather than any intentional withholding of funds. The original law was passed in 2001 entitling these adults to discounts but Lewis claims 100,000 people are missing out on these reductions – which can be 100% of their council tax costs!
If someone with an SMI is living alone, they shouldn’t pay any council tax. If they live with one other adult, they should pay just 75% of the full rate.