Merton overcharging 'severely mentally impaired' people?

Merton Council may be overcharging hundreds of people by failing to apply a Council Tax discount to potentially vulnerable individuals.

Under national rules those with “severe mental impairment” (SMI) and living alone are exempt from Council Tax, whilst those living with one other person qualify for a 25% discount. A Money Saving Expert report recently estimated that around 0.9% of households nationally should qualify for the SMI discounts, but Merton Lib Dems have revealed that only 0.3% of Merton households are currently claiming.

Local campaigner John Tippett-Cooper, said:

“These figures suggest more needs to be done to make sure that those living with Severe Mental Impairment are aware of the Council Tax discount available to them. Merton Liberal Democrats are campaigning to ensure that all those entitled to get this discount are aware of it. We are pleased to note though that the Council has agreed to refund those who have overpaid in previous years.

"Anyone who thinks that they – or a family member or a friend – might be entitled to this discount should get in touch with Merton Council on 020 8274 4904 or at [email protected].”

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