Martin Lewis unveils council tax changes – you could be eligible for SMI exemption

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How does the SMI council tax exemption work? SMI stands for severe mental impairment. Those considered to suffer from such an impairment are exempt for council tax.

Martin Lewis explained on his Money Show tonight: “Severe mental impairment council tax exemption, I’ve been campaigning on this for a long time.”

One caller claimed to have got £1,900 back after his father and mother in law qualified for an exemption.

Martin said: “We need to spread the word about it, payouts can be up to £10,000 in some cases.”

He explained an SMI is a “permanent severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning.

“It has to be medically certified and tends to be common with things like Alzheimer’s, dementia and severe strokes.

“You also have to eligible for a benefit to get it.

“You don’t have to be claiming it, just eligible.”

He went on: “If you have an SMI you are disregarded for council tax purposes, just like students are, which means if you are living alone you should pay any council tax.

“If you live alone you should get the 25 percent single person’s discount.

“Some councils, and all the councils in Wales, now backdate this payment, so you could get thousands of pounds.”

To get it back, contact your local council.

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What are the council tax bands?

Council tax bands are worked out based roughly on the estimated value of the property.

The bands are alphabetised:

A – Up to £40,000

B – More than £40,000 and up to £52,000

C – More than £52,000 and up to £68,000

D – More than £68,000 and up to £88,000

E – More than £88,000 and up to £120,000

F – More than £120,000 and up to £160,000

G – More than £160,000 and up to £320,000

H – More than £320,000

You can check your council tax band on the Government’s website. 

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