Martin Lewis shares tips for boosting state pension
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Speaking on ITV’s The Martin Lewis Money Show Live this week, he told viewers about the little known discount which he claims many local authorities may not know about. He explained that many Britons could be due money off with the Severe Mental Impairment (SMI) discount.
He said: “There are qualifications you have to go through [to claim it] then you may be eligible to be discounted for council tax purposes.
“Now what that means is, let’s imagine it was me, and me and Angelica were a couple living together.
“I’ve got SMI, so Angelica is the only adult in the household who is eligible to pay council tax, so you are going to get the 25 percent single person’s discount.
“It can be backdated and some people get thousands of pounds. It is so undercover that some offices when you call them up don’t even know it exists.
“If you think you know anyone in that position look up the Severe Mental Impairment council tax discount and there are probably 100,000 people out there missing out.”
To get the SMI discount, a person will need to get a certificate to say they are severely mentally impaired from a medically professional, such as their GP.
They will also need to prove they are eligible for certain benefits – their local council will have more details about this.
A person may be able to get an 100 percent SMI discount if they live on their own or if any other adults in their household qualify as severely mentally impaired or they are full-time students.
An individual can get a 50 percent discount if everyone else in their household is classed as ‘disregarded’ as regards council tax discounts.
A person who lives with someone who is severely mentally impaired can get a 25 percent discount if there are no other adults in the household or if everyone else in the home is classed as disregarded.
The Government website has a checker tool to help people find out if they are eligible for a council tax discount.
A user can put in their postcode and then it will tell them which local council they need to contact to find out about the discount.
Council tax pays for essential local services such as the police, social services and recycling collections.
The charge is based on the valuation band for a property and varies depending on the rates set by the local council.
Research from money.co.uk found the area of the UK that pays the most tax is Nottingham, where people in a Band D property pay £2,226 a year.
Dorset is the second highest, with average bills of £2,223 a year, followed by Rutland on £2,195.
Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Finance, councillor Adele Williams, told Express.co.uk: “While Band D properties are regularly used as a benchmark for comparison, 80 percent of chargeable households in Nottingham are in the lowest Bands A and B, so a much smaller proportion of residents pay band C or above than most authorities.
“The actual average bill for 2022/23 in Nottingham is lower than the national average – £1,235.95 compared with £1,492.77 – making it the 45th lowest in the country.
“For further context, there are fewer than 100 of the highest Band H chargeable properties in our city and just 6,470 in Band D, while there are more than 115,000 properties in Bands A to C.
“A quarter of our households receive council tax support. We know that many of our residents are struggling already and we don’t think council tax is the right way for the Government to fund services such as care for older people.”
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