People with dementia are among the most vulnerable members of our society. Relying on friends, family and healthcare professionals for their daily care and long-term wellbeing, it’s not uncommon for those with dementia to slip through the net when it comes to accessing the benefits and support they’re entitled to.
According to recent research from MoneySavingExpert.com, a large number of people living with dementia may be missing out on the council tax discounts they’re entitled to. By not claiming council tax relief, unnecessary pressure is placed on their finances. This pressure on finances could in turn hamper access to help and support that can help people on a dementia journey to live better for longer.
Council tax and dementia
In England, Scotland and Wales, people living with dementia are entitled to certain exemptions on their council tax bill. If the person lives alone, they’re not required to pay any council tax at all. If they lived with a friend or family member, the household is entitled to a 25% reduction on their council tax bill. These exemptions and discounts can make life a lot more affordable for those living with dementia, especially if they’re on a low or fixed income.
People with dementia missing out
According to MoneySavingExpert, a large number of people living with dementia in the UK are unaware of the exemptions and discounts on offer. As a result, many people never claim the benefits they’re entitled to and go on paying the full rate of council tax even when they’re not required to pay anything at all.
This often happens because councils fail to make those living with dementia aware of the discounts and exemptions available. According to the research, not only do councils fail to tell people about the discounts, some actively deny they’re available. This can make it very difficult for people to claim the exemptions and reductions they’re entitled to and can make life a lot more expensive for those living with the condition.
Claiming your council tax discount
Dementia is a chronic condition that can cost those affected a huge amount of money over the years. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, the average person will spend around £100,000 to cover their care costs during their lifetime. This can put a huge strain on personal finances and make life a real challenge for all those living with dementia.
Claiming the council tax discounts you’re entitled to can therefore make a big difference to anyone living with the condition. What’s more, according to Government rules, anyone with dementia can claim back the money they’ve paid in council tax over the years, something that can give their finances a real boost and help them to cover the cost of the care they need.
If you feel that you, a loved one or someone you are caring for may be entitled to an exemption, then don’t delay, contact the Council Tax department of your local authority and ask them to assess your eligibility.