OPAL

Information and Advice for Adults in East Dunbartonshire

Month: September 2017

Missing out on a council tax reduction for ‘mental impairment’? Here’s the steps to make your claim

Tens of thousands of people are entitled to a ‘mental impairment’ council tax discount:

25% discount

if you live with someone with a severe mental impairment and no other adults, or only adults who are also disregarded for council tax purpose.

100% discount

if you have a severe mental impairment and live alone.

The steps to claim your discount are available on the MoneySavingExpert or see below:

How to claim the discount

The process for making a claim varies by area, so you’ll need to check your local authority’s procedure. But here are the basics (for England, Scotland and Wales – for Northern Ireland see below):

  • First, you’ll need a doctor’s diagnosis. A registered medical practitioner must have diagnosed a condition causing severe mental impairment. In some cases you’ll need to attach a written diagnosis to your claim – in others you just give your doctor’s details and they’ll be contacted for confirmation.
  • Then get a claim form from your council. You’ll need to contact your local authority for a claim form to register for a council tax discount (find contact details via the Government’s ‘Apply for Council Tax Reduction’ service).
  • Fill the form in and send it off to your council. You may be asked to attach some supporting evidence, such as the doctor’s diagnosis or evidence of eligibility for relevant benefits.

Procedures vary by council, so if you want to know how long it will take for the discount to be applied, it’s best to check with yours.

Winter flu warnings: should the UK be worried?

On the back of a record breaking bad winter for flu in Australia and New Zealand – which is often an early predictor for what’s to come for this side of the planet- the UK is bracing itself for its worst winter flu epidemic in 50 years.

It’s not all bad news as the vaccines currently being administered have been proven to fight the flu strains active in these areas, but is still cause for concern as scientists warn of a virological drift: which means that one vaccine that works in one country may be ineffective a few months later in another country.

[Express Newspaper]

The NHS offers a free flu jab to those who are likely to develop further health problems from catching the flu, including young children with long-term health conditions, the elderly 65+, pregnant women, and those with long-term health conditions such as;

  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma
  • bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or motor neurone disease
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS or medication such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy

[Coventry Telegraph]

For those not eligible for a free jab, it is also possible to pay for your own vaccine with local pharmacies such as Boots and Lloyds offering this service.

 

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