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UK legal, insurance, employment, benefits, statutory services Advice offered by HDA Moderators relates to current UK law or guidelines

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Old 01-03-18, 05:26 PM   #1
Runningmum
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Default Council Tax

We recently applied for a reduction in our Council Tax as we think I have severe mental Incapacitation with HD . It certainly isn't going to improve and my mind is not what it was. The GP says I'm not bad enough. Does anyone know what a 'Severe Mental Incapacity' is exactly in this context ?
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Old 09-03-18, 04:22 AM   #2
Annie
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Default Re: Council Tax

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Originally Posted by Runningmum View Post
We recently applied for a reduction in our Council Tax as we think I have severe mental Incapacitation with HD . It certainly isn't going to improve and my mind is not what it was. The GP says I'm not bad enough. Does anyone know what a 'Severe Mental Incapacity' is exactly in this context ?
Ask another GP? Its tricky as the words on the form are really tough. I was a GP once and they get asked to countersign all manner of crazy documents. My view now ( as an HD wife) is that any family living with HD needs all the help from any quarter they can, the financial strain can be huge and unjust ( don't start me!) Maybe try asking another trusted health care professional eg consultant or SHDA to either sign it( maybe check with Council on this) or write to the GP ??? How does one define "not bad enough" in a slowly progressive disease? Does anyone measure and document tests of your cognitive function? Or show them this post !
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Old 09-03-18, 02:44 PM   #3
Runningmum
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Default Re: Council Tax

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Originally Posted by Annie View Post
Ask another GP? Its tricky as the words on the form are really tough. I was a GP once and they get asked to countersign all manner of crazy documents. My view now ( as an HD wife) is that any family living with HD needs all the help from any quarter they can, the financial strain can be huge and unjust ( don't start me!) Maybe try asking another trusted health care professional eg consultant or SHDA to either sign it( maybe check with Council on this) or write to the GP ??? How does one define "not bad enough" in a slowly progressive disease? Does anyone measure and document tests of your cognitive function? Or show them this post !
Hi . Thank you for your reply. The GP said it wasn't bad enough, asking if it was possible to socialise and watch TV ! Yes, 'not bad enough'..well, when does it cross the line to be so ? I don't think GPs have much experience of this condition so we'll see the consultant on our next appointment. Thanks again
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Old 10-03-18, 09:50 AM   #4
banda
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Default Re: Council Tax

our gp signed with no problem. I feel you should ask a different one or the consultant you see. I dont think you can define it at all. Hope it works for you. xx
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Old 10-03-18, 03:06 PM   #5
Allan
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Default Re: Council Tax

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Hi Runningmum

There is quite a lot of text to read if you are having issues with Mental Capacity and HD - and you haven’t got anyone “on your side”. If all your GP could do was to ask whether “it was possible to socialise and watch TV” then there is your first problem. So, bypass the GP and ask your regional SHDA and your Neurology consultant as Annie has suggested.

I’ve been doing a bit of relevant searching - but not before I looked at the HDA booklet:
Mental illness and Mental Capacity in Huntington's disease

Pages 3-4, Do people with HD have a “mental disorder” as described by the Mental Capacity Act?, lists 3 important points. You’ll have to find and read it as it won’t copy and paste to this post.

Then I started to make note of a few things …

The Cognitive or Mental Symptoms of HD are often listed\described as follows:
  • Decreased concentration, forgetfulness and memory decline
  • Poor judgment and difficulty making decisions or answering questions
  • A loss of drive and initiative, appearing to be lazy or uninterested in life, spending days doing little, or neglecting personal hygiene.
  • The inability to organize themselves, as planning skills and ability to carry out more than one task at once deteriorate.
  • Less able to understand speech.
  • The inability to recognize familiar objects, people and places.
  • The depression rate is very high and can be caused by the disease or the challenges it creates - or by professionals who just don’t “get it.”
LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE ACT 1992:
COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNT FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE MENTAL IMPAIRMENT
  • Doctors should note that the decision as to whether a person is severely mentally impaired is not consequent on any specific diagnosis. A person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning however caused which appears to be permanent. A decision about the presence of severe mental impairment will, in all cases, depend on the doctor's clinical judgement as to whether the applicant meets these criteria.
  • If a doctor is uncertain whether an applicant's intelligence and social functioning are such as to constitute severe mental impairment he may wish to seek information and advice from the appropriate medical colleagues or from colleagues in other professions, or from carers, who may be able to help with information based on their knowledge of the applicant. If, after such constitution, a doctor is still uncertain as to whether the applicant is severely mentally impaired he or she should not sign the certificate.
Who's eligible for the SMI discount?

Both of the following must apply for someone to qualify for an SMI council tax discount:
  1. They've been medically certified as being severely mentally impaired. For example, if they have dementia, Parkinson's, severe learning difficulties or have had a stroke.
  2. They're eligible for at least one of the following benefits: (these aren't all means-tested, and in most cases they don't actually need to claim any benefits to get the discount).
  • Attendance allowance under Sec 64 of the Social Security Contributions & Benefits Act
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • The highest or middle rate of the care component of a disability living allowance
  • The daily living component of personal independence payment
  • An increase in the rate of your disablement pension
  • Disabled persons tax credit
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Unemployability allowance or supplement
  • Constant attendance allowance or income support including a disability premium
The Disregarded Discount

There is more that is related to Medical Ethics and the Legal background:

Incapacity to give informed consent owing to mental disorder

Mental disabilities, specific learning difficulties and mental capacity

… but none of this should be required for any form of Local Authority (Council Tax), Adult Social Care or DWP (ESA, DLA\PIP) claim as HD is a neuro-degenerative disease. It surely describes itself.

Best wishes …

.
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Old 10-03-18, 07:06 PM   #6
Runningmum
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Default Re: Council Tax

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Originally Posted by banda View Post
our gp signed with no problem. I feel you should ask a different one or the consultant you see. I dont think you can define it at all. Hope it works for you. xx
Thank you. I think that will be the way forward x
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Old 10-03-18, 07:09 PM   #7
Runningmum
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Default Re: Council Tax

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan View Post
.
Hi Runningmum

There is quite a lot of text to read if you are having issues with Mental Capacity and HD - and you haven’t got anyone “on your side”. If all your GP could do was to ask whether “it was possible to socialise and watch TV” then there is your first problem. So, bypass the GP and ask your regional SHDA and your Neurology consultant as Annie has suggested.

I’ve been doing a bit of relevant searching - but not before I looked at the HDA booklet:
Mental illness and Mental Capacity in Huntington's disease

Pages 3-4, Do people with HD have a “mental disorder” as described by the Mental Capacity Act?, lists 3 important points. You’ll have to find and read it as it won’t copy and paste to this post.

Then I started to make note of a few things …

The Cognitive or Mental Symptoms of HD are often listed\described as follows:
  • Decreased concentration, forgetfulness and memory decline
  • Poor judgment and difficulty making decisions or answering questions
  • A loss of drive and initiative, appearing to be lazy or uninterested in life, spending days doing little, or neglecting personal hygiene.
  • The inability to organize themselves, as planning skills and ability to carry out more than one task at once deteriorate.
  • Less able to understand speech.
  • The inability to recognize familiar objects, people and places.
  • The depression rate is very high and can be caused by the disease or the challenges it creates - or by professionals who just don’t “get it.”
LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE ACT 1992:
COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNT FOR PEOPLE WITH SEVERE MENTAL IMPAIRMENT
  • Doctors should note that the decision as to whether a person is severely mentally impaired is not consequent on any specific diagnosis. A person is severely mentally impaired if he has a severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning however caused which appears to be permanent. A decision about the presence of severe mental impairment will, in all cases, depend on the doctor's clinical judgement as to whether the applicant meets these criteria.
  • If a doctor is uncertain whether an applicant's intelligence and social functioning are such as to constitute severe mental impairment he may wish to seek information and advice from the appropriate medical colleagues or from colleagues in other professions, or from carers, who may be able to help with information based on their knowledge of the applicant. If, after such constitution, a doctor is still uncertain as to whether the applicant is severely mentally impaired he or she should not sign the certificate.
Who's eligible for the SMI discount?

Both of the following must apply for someone to qualify for an SMI council tax discount:
  1. They've been medically certified as being severely mentally impaired. For example, if they have dementia, Parkinson's, severe learning difficulties or have had a stroke.
  2. They're eligible for at least one of the following benefits: (these aren't all means-tested, and in most cases they don't actually need to claim any benefits to get the discount).
  • Attendance allowance under Sec 64 of the Social Security Contributions & Benefits Act
  • Severe disablement allowance
  • The highest or middle rate of the care component of a disability living allowance
  • The daily living component of personal independence payment
  • An increase in the rate of your disablement pension
  • Disabled persons tax credit
  • Incapacity benefit
  • Employment and support allowance
  • Unemployability allowance or supplement
  • Constant attendance allowance or income support including a disability premium
The Disregarded Discount

There is more that is related to Medical Ethics and the Legal background:

Incapacity to give informed consent owing to mental disorder

Mental disabilities, specific learning difficulties and mental capacity

… but none of this should be required for any form of Local Authority (Council Tax), Adult Social Care or DWP (ESA, DLA\PIP) claim as HD is a neuro-degenerative disease. It surely describes itself.

Best wishes …

.
Allan, Thank you. That's very comprehensive and will keep us busy reading. Very kind x
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