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Is it time for an MS benefit check?

28 February 2024

What can you claim?

If your MS has progressed to the point where you can’t work full time or require caregiving assistance, there are several benefits you may be able to claim, including:

These may mean you are automatically eligible for a reduction in your council tax.

Don't overlook the SMI council tax discount

If you have mental fatigue or other cognitive problems it’s also worth checking out the underclaimed and often overlooked 'severely mentally impaired' (SMI) council tax discount. You need to be eligible for certain benefits and provide certification from a medical professional, such as your GP. But as explained in’s guide, despite the off-putting name, the SMI could offer substantial reductions in council tax, even for those with savings. It could mean a complete waiver for those living alone; a 50% or 25% reduction for a shared household depending on its composition. Some councils will backdate payments, so you could be eligible for a significant refund.

Check with your local council

Eligibility criteria for SMI and other council tax reductions vary between councils and regions and are generally decided on a case-to-case basis. So if you think you may be eligible, it’s best to check your local authority’s specific requirements and procedures.

And remember, you have the right to appeal if your benefit application is initially rejected or if you believe you're entitled to additional benefits.

Stay informed!

The benefits system is complicated and specific benefits are subject to change. A regular 'benefit check' is a useful to make sure you're making the most of what’s on offer. We want people affected by MS to get all the support they deserve, so encourage you to stay informed and take proactive steps towards securing the help you need.

For more tips on getting help with the daily challenges of living with MS, visit Getting Support.

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