Council tax rebate

Something I didn't realise until I read a news email from Headway, they support people with brain injury.

They pointed out that having a stroke might qualify you for a reduction in council tax, or if you live alone an exemption. There is no limit on how far back you claim for, and it is illegal for the council to ask you why you haven't claimed before.

At first I thought I wouldn't qualify because the grounds you claim on is for mental impairment. Yes that is what I thought, I'm not mentally impaired. But then I thought again, I was tied up in the terminology " mentally impaired". It doesn't sound nice, even a bit insulting, but then I thought from my nursing day's prior to my stroke. Various powers that be, don't understand PC language, although they all have non-discriminatory policies.

The measure is, compared prior to your brain injury/stroke, are you the same? If the answer is no, then you are mentally impaired, you do need to be in receipt of PIP care component, higher or lower. It is a simple form you ask your council for to claim it, basically you need your name and address, and then submit it to your GP. It is up to the GP to assess if you qualify under the Housing Act. If so, the GP will sign it to say you qualify and from what date. The GP cannot charge a fee for completing this.

I had my stroke in 2011, and although I have moved a number of times since, I have been able to claim from the date of my stroke. Many councils won't tell you about claiming, and there are some slight differences in how the council's apply the Housing Act, but generally, if your GP assesses you under the Housing Act criteria as being impaired then the council has to take this as a given, in fact, they cannot ignore it.

I'm not a dosing scrounger, but I wish that, councils, DWP, S.Ss were more open and honest about what help you are able to claim. And, if you are thinking, well I can't be that impaired because I wrote this, I can write better than I can read, and I can order my thoughts in writing, something I can't do when speaking, and my life post stroke is, and I would use the term "impaired" compared to before.

Hope some of you find this helpful.