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Pensions & benefits advice

Council tax relief for people living with dementia

(15 Posts)
kittylester Sat 30-Oct-21 08:58:23

Hopefully everyone caring for a person living with dementia is aware of this benefit.

If someone has a formal diagnosis of any type of dementia, and they are eligible for Attendance Allowance, they can apply for a reduction in Council tax by filling in the form for relief on the basis of Severe Mental Impairment. It is a simple, one page form available from the local council.

It needs to be counter signed by the relevant doctor who is not allowed to charge!

Squeaker12 Tue 02-Nov-21 12:01:33

My mother has dementia and we tried to claim Attendance Allowance, but as she didn`t need help washing at that stage we were denied the benefit. So it`s not automatic.

silverlining48 Tue 02-Nov-21 12:35:27

Why not appeal/ reapply squeaker? Your mothers needs appear to have increased. Costs nothing other than time and if successful it does make a big difference.

kittylester Tue 02-Nov-21 12:52:47

Squeaker, please ask AgeUk to help you fill the form in. They know the buzz words to use!!

kittylester Tue 02-Nov-21 12:54:30

Then you can apply for the above benefit as well.

Help with washing is not the only criteria.

Teacheranne Tue 02-Nov-21 12:59:01


My mother has dementia and we tried to claim Attendance Allowance, but as she didn`t need help washing at that stage we were denied the benefit. So it`s not automatic.

You have to complete the form as if your mother is having the worst day ever! My mum was living on her own when we applied and were granted the lower amount ie no overnight needs. Mum needed our support with day to day tasks such as remembering to take medication, to eat, to check sell by dates, to store food properly, to turn shower on, wear clean clothes, use most household appliances safely, not let strangers in to the house etc. She did not do all of these things all of the time but all were symptoms of her Alzheimer’s at some point.

Once she went into a care home, she was granted the higher payment as she needed 24 hour care and was self funding.

Mum got a reduced council tax as she lived alone so we did not apply but would have done.

kittylester Tue 02-Nov-21 13:06:13

I think that your mum could have got complete council tax relief teacheranne.

welbeck Tue 02-Nov-21 13:10:16

yes, as others have said, with any of these claim forms,
get help, from those who are used to filling them in, support groups etc.
there is a knack.

GillT57 Tue 02-Nov-21 13:11:17

The problem with AA claims is that people's pride means they underplay the extent of their need for help. My late DM for example, would say she could get dressed by herself, but if I did not take previously worn clothing away to launder, she would wear the same clothes day after day. Yes, she could put socks on, but it would take her 20 minutes. So, you must describe the reality and don't let false pride get in the way of receiving the very useful, non means tested AA.

Granniesunite Tue 02-Nov-21 13:24:31

My husband has Alzhimers I applied and was turned down for council tax relief. Im applying again.
We get the lowest amount of attendance allowance but im applying again as I'm up three or four times most nights calming him down, getting him out of two jackets, trousers and stopping him "going home*.
I phoned social two weeks ago asking for help.. I was told" I'll pass that on to a senior " he has an open file with them I belive.
Ive heard nothing since then.
Im done in. Gp telephone appointment tomorrow. Ill see what happens then but im not holding my breath.

welbeck Tue 02-Nov-21 13:30:01

Granniesunite, can you contact your local Alzheimers assn, or dementia care, age uk.
you need help with getting both these claims.
please do not give up.
keep ringing round/emailing til you find a helpful response.
good luck.

kittylester Tue 02-Nov-21 16:53:30

grannysunite please contact the Alzheimer's Society for general help and AgeUk for help with your form.

The Alzheimer's Society can advocate for you.

Pammie1 Mon 08-Nov-21 09:57:17

I’m astounded by the posters who say they have trouble claiming AA for relatives with dementia and are on low rates. Daily living activities such as cooking, washing and dressing etc, are not the only concerns looked at. With dementia there is a need for 24 hour supervision. My mum is able to wash and dress herself but she can’t be left unattended as she’s a danger to herself and there’s a risk of wandering so all doors to the outside have to be locked and the keys removed. AA takes account of this and it usually warrants the higher rate for attendance for both day and night. Anyone struggling should get advice from the appropriate dementia advocate charities - Age UK were brilliant with us too.

Pammie1 Mon 08-Nov-21 10:15:50

Thinking about completing the AA forms for someone with dementia - a few pointers for those of you who may be doing this yourselves. You need to be specific about the amount of help needed with daily activities because even if the person doesn’t need actual help with an activity, there may be a need for supervision to keep them safe - for example, preparing a simple sandwich or making a cup of tea. The same with bathing - bathrooms are hazardous for someone with dementia and supervision is warranted. Also consider whether the person with dementia has the motivation to bathe or has to be encouraged - it all counts. For washing and dressing it’s not just a case of whether the person can do it unaided, it’s whether they can choose clothing appropriate for the weather or a specific activity, and - particularly in advanced dementia - would they wear the same clothes day after day if left to their own devices. Consider incontinence too - people with dementia increasingly lose control over bodily functions so you have to be specific about how many times a day you help bathe and change after accidents, whether they occur at night as well as in the day, and whether padding is required. Safety is a big issue with dementia, and as I mentioned in the post about my own circumstances, if the person can’t be left unattended because of safety issues, this usually warrants a higher award. I know this thread was specifically about council tax reduction for dementia and I don’t want to derail it - I was a benefits adviser and do what I can to help with benefit claims for the charity associated with my own disability, so if anyone thinks it would be helpful to have a thread to try to help with applications please say so and I’ll start one.

PippaZ Mon 08-Nov-21 21:00:43

I'm absolutely sure a thread helping with applications would be a help Pammie1. Quite often (certainly in my case in the past) it is not just the ability to fill it in but the anxiety to do your best for the person you care for.