Dementia Council Tax rebate

There is a council tax rebate that is available for people living with dementia if they fulfil several criteria.  It is called the Severe Mental Impairment exemption and it relates to many more conditions than just dementia.

Severe Mental Impairment may sound quite extreme, but it is the medical and legal term that covers this discount.

What is Severe Mental Impairment?

A person is severely mentally impaired “if they have a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent”. As with any law, it is very specific and you must prove your entitlement.

To qualify, an older person needs to be certified by a doctor as being severely mentally impaired. Simply having an underlying medical diagnosis such as dementia does not automatically mean a person qualifies as SMI and is entitled to the council tax exemption. If you feel that you or a loved one may qualify speak to your GP.

What discount will I get?

If you are diagnosed as SMI, this means you can claim:

A 25% discount – if there are multiple occupiers in a house and one of them qualifies as SMI they can claim a 25% discount on Council Tax.

A 100% discount – if the person who qualifies as SMI lives alone then they will receive a full discount on their council tax.

Who is eligible?

As already stated, the individual must have been certified by a doctor, but they must also be eligible for the one of the following benefits:

  • Attendance allowance
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • Disability living allowance
  • Increase in disablement pension
  • Unemployability supplement or allowance
  • Constant attendance allowance
  • Income support
  • Personal independence payment
  • Armed forces independence payment
  • Disability working allowance
  • Universal credit

Important note – They do not have to be in receipt of these allowances, they just need to be eligible for them.

For more information or if you wish to discuss care for your loved one please email