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There are potentially hundreds of thousands of people currently living with conditions such as dementia that are unaware they may be entitled to receive discounted council tax rates.

Criteria has been set out to establish whether a person is eligible to receive a discount on their council tax payments or even be excluded altogether. The criteria is as follows:

• a person who has a severe mental impairment which appears to be permanent and can be certified by a medical practitioner

• a person who is entitled to certain disability benefits which include attendance allowance and disability living allowance

Whilst the term ‘severe mental impairment’ is somewhat clinical and not how we would choose to describe our loved ones, dementia could possibly satisfy these conditions. If an adult living with dementia lives on their own or with other adults who are also living with dementia, then the property could be exempt from council tax.

If two adults live in the same property but only one satisfies the mental impairment rule, then the adult who does not have the condition may be classed as living alone and receive a 25% ‘single person discount’ on their council tax.

There is also a possibility that you could reclaim council tax that you have already paid. Such a claim can be made at any time so long as you can satisfy the criteria for the period being claimed.

As major charities including the Alzheimer’s Society, Parkinson’s UK and the Stroke Association have all warned, there is, unfortunately, a huge lack of awareness about possible council tax reductions and who is eligible to claim them. Whilst the criteria is strict, if you or your loved ones are living with dementia it is certainly worth contacting your local council to find out more.

With so many people expected to develop dementia, it is better to start thinking about putting your affairs in order sooner rather than later and protecting the ones you love. At Ramsdens we have an expert Private Client team who can help you with your Lasting Powers of Attorney. To speak to us about putting your affairs in order, call our Private Client team on 0800 988 3650, email willsandprobate@ramsdens.co.uk or text LAW to 67777 to book a free information session at any of our offices across West Yorkshire.