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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Housing costs  →  Thread

SMI for Council Tax on ESA

 

JojoMitchell
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Disability Law Service, London

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Hi. Having an issue with Hackney Council allowing a SMI despite the claimant being in the ESA wrag. The SMI form states that the claimant must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit (ESA incl)  but they have refused stating that they are not getting an eligible benefit! The Council Tax discount disregards act hasn’t been amended to include ESA so can’t throw that at them. Any solutions?
Thanks

     
Vonny
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Welfare Rights Adviser, Social Inclusion Unit, Swansea

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In the disability rights handbook, page 200, it says the LA may still treat it as a qualifying benefit - clearly yours isn’t and therefore you can appeal the decision.

     
Dan Manville
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Mental health, Wolverhampton CC Welfare Rights

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Surely if they’re SMI they’d be receiving PIP???

     
Jon (CHDCA)
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Perhaps refer to the Interpretation Act 1978, see final post here:
https://www.rightsnet.org.uk/forum-archive/index604f.html

( ... or set Martin Lewis on them ..)

      [ Edited: 12 Apr 2019 at 04:00 pm by Jon (CHDCA) ]
JojoMitchell
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Not yet on pip. Saw the DRUK info but wanted to avoid the appeal but it’s our only option. Spoke to Hackney to raise the issue about not accepting what their form states and they couldn’t say why other than to appeal.

Thanks for the link John, this is really useful.

     
stevenmcavoy
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i have no idea if this will be of any use but the scottish legislation to qoute here is this http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/1879/regulation/39/made#regulation-39-a

i dont know if there is a similar order for england and this might help you find it?  i know the systems have been localised in england as well so that might add to the useless nature of my post but who knows it may at least help you track down what you need.

this just came to mind as i spent hours looking for the scottish legislation on this a while back before having to get cpag scotland to help me.

     
Andyp5 Citizens Advice Bridport & District
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JojoMitchell - 12 April 2019 04:10 PM

Not yet on pip. Saw the DRUK info but wanted to avoid the appeal but it’s our only option. Spoke to Hackney to raise the issue about not accepting what their form states and they couldn’t say why other than to appeal.

Thanks for the link John, this is really useful.

Just a thought but LA’s are hierarchical stratified orgs, and for example if an MP writes to them i.e. the head of revenues and benefits or whatever they are called in Hackney nowadays. That can be very persuasive. May help in avoiding an appeal and expedite stuff.

 

     
JojoMitchell
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Thanks everyone. Will definitely contact the MP. I had checked the Scottish regs and they include ESA and Wales amended theirs recently so it’s just England that haven’t!

     
Brian Fletcher
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Welfare Rights, Wigan & Leigh Carers Centre, Wigan

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JojoMitchell - 12 April 2019 03:12 PM

Hi. Having an issue with Hackney Council allowing a SMI despite the claimant being in the ESA wrag. The SMI form states that the claimant must be in receipt of a qualifying benefit (ESA incl)  but they have refused stating that they are not getting an eligible benefit! The Council Tax discount disregards act hasn’t been amended to include ESA so can’t throw that at them. Any solutions?
Thanks

‘Receipt of a qualifying benefit’ is a bit of a misinterpretation of the legislation to be honest.

The Council Tax (Discount Disregards) Order 1992
The severely mentally impaired
3.—(1) The condition prescribed for the purposes of paragraph 2(1)(c) of Schedule 1 to the Act is that the person in question is entitled to one of the qualifying benefits….

Entitlement and receipt are two different things -  If the Claimant meets the conditions of entitlement for a qualifying benefit like PIP for example, then, subject to certification of the existence of the “severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning which appears to be permanent”, they would qualify for the SMI reduction

     
JojoMitchell
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Thanks, used this in my appeal argument and also copied in MP as the LA can’t just suddenly state that ESA shouldn’t be counted when it’s on their SMI exemption form!