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Card through door from local council


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Hello folks, please can you advise me.

 

I have helped an Indian lady complete her ESA50 Income Based Form as she was migrating from Incapacity Benefit around October last year (2015). She lives in a bungalow owned by her mother in law (the daughter in law has separated from her husband - the mother in law's son). The bungalow is owned outright by the mother in law - no mortgage.

 

Now the mother in law, no joking is aged between 90-100 years, she is not in the best of health as you can imagine, she claims her pension and income based pension credit. She also lives at the same property but spends quite a few number of weeks at different family members houses as she needs 24 hour care.

 

When I helped her daughter in law with the ESA50 migration, I completely forgot that she 'lives' with her mother in law, as the mother in law is hardly there.

 

I have since discovered that the mother in law does claim Council Tax Benefit and has done for many years (before her daughter in law moved in with her around 4-5 years ago) and receives a 25% discount. This very elderly lady has alzheimers and does not speak English.

 

The other day a card was posted through their letter box from the Revenues Department. The daughter in law's son asked me what it could be as neither his mother or grandmother claim Housing Benefit, but that his nan does claim Council Tax and gets 25% single person discount. I said it's probably due to the migration of the ESA50 and the 25% Council Tax discount.

 

Can someone throw some light on how the Council will deal with this. The nan is very old, has alzheimers and stays for a few weeks at one relatives house, comes back home, then is cared for by her grandson and his wife together with her daughter in law, then she is taken to another relatives house. I did not give the Council Tax a thought when I helped her apply for her migration to ESA as I knew she was not claiming Housing Benefit, and I completely forgot about the elderly lady who only lives in the property part time. Will either of these ladies get into trouble and how do we go forward with this?

 

Any help would be gratefully received.

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It was along the lines of 'called and you were out, can you please contact me on ........'. I was only told about this yesterday by the lady's son and we had a think of what it could be about as everything is above board, and all we could come up with is the Council Tax scenario. So before contacting them on Monday I said I would post on here for any helpful suggestions as to how to proceed.

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I'm pretty sure it's about the 25% Council Tax, but I totally forgot when helping the lady as she was not claiming Housing Benefit, so never give it a thought when helping her with her transition from Incapacity to ESA as she was living in the property and not claiming Housing or Council Tax Benefit. I don't know how they approach these matters, but bearing in mind the elderly lady is absent quite a lot of the time, cannot speak English and has alzheimers, I guess it is this lady they wish to talk to about the Council Tax matter, so can anyone make any suggestions prior to the son/grandson calling the council on Monday please.

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Your question seems to be along the lines of, is something bad going to happen e.g. prosecution?

 

In general terms, the revenue teams only give people problems if they perceive a benefits application to have been made deceptively.

 

If you explain your circumstances to them as you have explained them to the group, then I am sure you will be fine. As Shoelover suggested they could look to recover the arrears. Though if you breakdown her financial circumstances toe them, then they would likely take this into consideration.

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If she gets Pension credit guaranteed element she may get a 6 month easement on the non dep deduction (I think the rule still exists) for any new non dep. she will still get the SPD removed but this may help

 

Another thought. I'm not an expert by any means but it could be worth looking into SMI exemptions on CTAx if her Alzheimer's is advanced

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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Thank you for your replies Shoelover, however, I'm now confused, can you please explain to me what you mean when you say 'she may get a 6 month easement on the non dep deduction (I think the rule still exists) for any new non dep. she will still get the SPD removed but this may help' - what is SPD? and 6 month easement?

 

Also what does 'SMI exemptions' mean. She must be 90-100 years of age and her alzheimers is very advanced. She often stays at relatives houses as she cannot look after herself, then returns back home with her daughter in law and their relatives care for the both of them. Due to her frequent absences, I totally forgot about her when I helped her daughter in law who is very ill herself and never gave a thought about the Council Tax. The ESA 50 form does not ask if you live with anyone else.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Sorry - SPD is the 25% discount folks that live alone get.

Easement means a relaxing of the rules, but I can't find anything that suggests it's still going.

 

Does the elderly lady get attendance allowance?

Please do not ask me for advice via PM as I will not reply.

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