Get informed on how to access council tax relief related to mental health issues - find out who is eligible, the criteria required and how to apply.
I've seen a lot of people questioning the level of mental health issues you need to have to be able to claim for council tax to no longer need to be paid, and so I thought it was worth a quick note to confirm what this actually means, and who is eligible.
Mental health is a real problem for many people, including me. After a few pretty awful years, the number of people diagnosed with mental health issues has continued to climb, and many more people are being treated for the issue.
Those people who suffer very badly and have been diagnosed with a severe impairment may be able to claim for their council tax bill to be waived.
For council tax purposes, a person with a severe mental disability or mental illness (however caused), which appears to be permanent, is said to be severely mentally impaired. A severe impairment is an impairment or combination of impairments that significantly limit the individual's physical or mental abilities and, as a result, interfere with the individual's ability to perform basic work activities.
This level of impairment is often referred to as class U. Conditions that can lead to severe mental impairment and are categorised as class U include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, severe learning difficulties, a stroke and other forms of dementia as well as schizophrenic and delusional disorders mood (affective) disorders, including depressive, manic and bipolar forms neuroses, including phobic, panic and obsessive-compulsive disorders behavioural disorders, including eating, sleep and stress disorders personality disorders. To be eligible for council tax exemption, or disregarded, as its often known, all the people living in the property must be entitled to and have claimed/be claiming for one of the following benefits (or would be entitled to one of them if they had not already reached state pension age):
Universal Credit with limited capability for work or work-related activity
Employment Support Allowance
standard or enhanced rate of the daily living component of Personal Independence Payment
middle or higher rate care component of Disability Living Allowance
Armed Forces Independence Payment
the disability element in Working Tax Credit
Severe Disablement Allowance
an increase in Disablement Pension for constant attendance
Constant Attendance Allowance paid from industrial injuries scheme
unemployability allowance paid from War Pension Schemes
Income Support, including a disability premium due to incapacity for work
If your family circumstances reflect these requirements, you can contact your local council (you can find your local council details by entering your postcode here), and ask for a severe mental impairment disregard application form.
This form is generally in two parts. Part one is filled out by the claimant, and the second needs to be filled out by your doctor. Once the form is received by the council and accepted, you should be able to claim a reduction in your council tax bill and in some cases, you may be given a council tax exemption and so would not have to make any payments to the council.
If you are successful, you may also be able to claim for the discount to be back-dated, and so may be able to claim a refund on council tax payments already made.
I have seen online posts mentioning that anyone currently taking prescribed medicines for mental health is eligible for a council tax refund, and I wanted to debunk this! To confirm, only those people with a diagnosed severe mental health impairment can claim a reduction in their tax bill.
If you are unsure if this includes you and already receiving one or more of the benefits mentioned earlier, speak to your local council or doctor for clarification.
If you are suffering from mental health issues and need assistance, speak to your doctor or use a website such as MIND for help and mental health education; don't suffer in silence.