Why you may be eligible for a council tax discount

Individuals living with a mental impairment or their caregivers may be eligible for a 25 percent council tax discount.

Individuals living with a mental impairment such as dementia or Parkinson's disease are eligible for a 25 percent council tax discount, according to Money Saving Expert. This is also true of anyone living alone with someone with a mental impairment. This discount can be claimed retroactively as well.

Though this policy applies to England, Scotland and Wales, many people may not be aware of this option. Here's what you need to know about a potential council tax discount:


Who is eligible

Someone can claim the 25% discount if they qualify for any of the stipulations outlined under Sec 64 of the Social Security Contributions & Benefits Act. Individuals who have a medically certified mental impairment caused by disease or an event like a stroke.

"Anyone who has missed out on this benefit can still reclaim savings retroactively." Some individuals may also qualify for the discount even if they have not been means-tested but are already eligible for existing benefits. This includes disabled persons tax credits, incapacity benefits, employment and support allowance and many others.

Importantly, anyone who has missed out on this benefit can still reclaim savings retroactively. This may represent a refund on the order of thousands of pounds. Money Saving Expert says that many major organizations such as the Alzheimer's Society and Parkinson's UK have found that few individuals who qualify for this discount are aware of such an offering.


How to make a claim

Islington reported that the best way to see if you qualify for this discount is to apply for a refund online or to otherwise call a representative. If you or a loved one are living with a mental impairment, you may need an official diagnosis from a doctor and in some cases will need to provide further information when seeking a claim.

The process for making a claim varies by area, so you'll need to check your local authority's procedure, but here are the basics: Either you or the person with a severe mental impairment can make the claim. A letter from the Department for Work and Pensions  may be necessary when seeking a deduction based on other qualifications.

As for a retroactive discount, apply separately. This will make it clear that you are seeking the benefit moving forward as well as claiming a discount from years past. You can claim as far back as April 1993 when the council tax was first created. You will need to provide a doctor's diagnosis or other qualification, but will not need to explain why you are seeking a claim after the fact.