People diagnosed as severely mentally impaired (SMI) should by rights be exempt from paying council tax, with the result that two-person households often qualify for a 25% discount on council tax. Persons with a severe mental impairment living alone could claim a 100% discount.
“A person is severely mentally impaired if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent, such as dementia”.
In reality, certain local councils fail to ensure that those individuals entitled in law actually claim or receive the discount. Freedom of Information requests by the MoneySavingExpert.com (MSE) website revealed unaccountable variations and disparities between different councils, with similar population sizes, in the take-up (and the presumed promotion) of this discount. The MSE site offers practical advice on how to claim.
Bloch-Budzier, S. (2017). ‘Mentally impaired’ missing out on council tax discount. London: BBC Health News, September 29th 2017.
This relates to:
Good, K. Nowottny, S. [and] French, M. [et al] (2017). The disregarded discount: MoneySavingExpert.com report into the ‘Severely Mentally Impaired’ (SMI) council tax discount. [Online]: MoneySavingExpert.com, September 2017.