Council tax discount and dementia

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If you live with an adult who has dementia or another mental impairment, you could be missing out on a council tax discount. Under the rules, they may not need to pay council tax and that could mean a reduction for you as well. Find out about council tax discounts and dementia.

Council tax discounts and dementia

Most adults have to pay council tax. You pay it whether you own or rent your home. If you live on your own, you are able to claim a 25% discount. It’s called the single person discount.

If you live with someone who has dementia then they get a ‘disregard’ rather than a discount.

SAVVY TIP: This information relates to England, Wales and Scotland. Northern Ireland has a system of rates, not council tax.

The dementia disregard

If you have an illness like dementia where you have a severe mental impairment, you don’t have to pay council tax. Instead, you qualify for a disregard. This means that you don’t have to pay any council tax at all.

If you qualify for this council tax disregard and you live with one other adult, they will then qualify for the single person discount.  Why? Well, because you are ‘disregarded’ for the purposes of council tax, an adult you live with is treated as if they live on their own. That means they are entitled to the single person discount. So they are able to claim 25% off their council tax bill. This only applies if you live with one other adult. If more than two adults live with you, they pay the full rate of council tax.

How you qualify for the dementia disregard

In order to get this particular council tax disregard, you have to:

  • Have a severe mental impairment. That could be as a result of dementia or Parkinson’s,  or because of a severe learning disability. Having a severe mental impairment is not linked to a diagnosis of a specific disease.
  • Have a ‘Council Tax Severe Mental Impairment Doctor’s Certificate’. A GP must sign the certificate to say that, in their view, the severe mental impairment is permanent.

SAVVY TIP: If you’ve had an accident that results in a brain injury, you wouldn’t necessarily qualify for a council tax disregard if a GP thought your severe mental impairment was temporary.

  • Be eligible for one of a list of disability benefits. The list is quite long, but it includes Attendance Allowance (at the lower or higher rate), Disability Living Allowance (receiving the higher or middle rate care components) or Personal Independence Payment where you receive the lower or higher rate of the daily living component.

How to apply

You, someone with power of attorney or your carer should contact your council, in the first instance. They will be able to provide a form to claim the council tax disregard.

It should be relatively straightforward to claim this disregard, discount or exemption. Charities such as the Alzheimer’s Society have information on council tax if you have dementia.

Useful links:

Alzheimer’s Society: Council tax and dementia 

Parkinson’s Society: Help with council tax 

Related articles: 

Finding a care home for a relative who has dementia. How easy is it to find a good care home?

Setting up a lasting power of attorney

What are deferred payment agreements if you need to pay for your long-term care?

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