Autism & SMI Discount for Council Tax — Scope | Disability forum
If we become concerned about you or anyone else while using one of our services, we will act in line with our safeguarding policy and procedures. This may involve sharing this information with relevant authorities to ensure we comply with our policies and legal obligations.

Find out how to let us know if you're concerned about another member's safety.
Please read our updated community house rules and community guidelines.

Autism & SMI Discount for Council Tax

wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
I moved out into the world around 2 years ago and I've had a lot of issues with keeping track of my bills. When I first moved in I made all the calls and the council suggested an SMI form.

You need to be certified by a doctor to be suffering from severe impairment of intelligence and social functioning, which appears to be permanent, for instance Alzheimer’s disease.

I received it and sent it off and heard nothing from them for the rest of the year. My head sort of works on an out of sight out of mind basis so I didn't really think anything of it. The person I was living with ended his life and I was left with the emotional and financial downfall of it all, so I shut down.

The next year I met someone and I eventually moved in because of a variety of reasons. When I rang the council once again to tell them, they informed me that my previous form was not stamped by the doctor and they did not accept it. They advised me that they do not reach out to doctors themselves so it was an incomplete application, so I approached my GP with the form but he was reluctant to sign it.

He eventually decided to stamp the form after asking some questions but he made an alteration to the text because my diagnosis of Asperger's alludes to higher intelligence, but although I can say smart things I still struggle with most things in life. I do not really know laws, or anything about roads or cars, or geography, or business and a lot of other nuances in life.

I struggle to tell how much time has passed due to my fixations and often neglect everything outside of it. I don't have that attachment to my phone that a lot of people seem to have these days, so I don't really know what day it is most of the time. I struggle immensely with people and do not really leave my house, alongside constant anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

I've been through a lot of trauma in the past 2 years and everything just melds into one. I actually forgot to send the letter away for months, I said this to my GP. It wasn't until I was summoned to court that I sent it to the council and they told me not to attend because I'd sent the form in.

The council then rejected the letter because of the alteration and told me I need to speak to my GP again about the form but again I'd forgotten about it so I've left it for months and enforcement agents have contacted me.

I've been referred and rejected from therapy because they did not believe that CBT would work for me, have been through the crisis team multiple times but have nothing to help me. They referred me to services which charge but I cannot afford that right now. I told them this and they left it down to social care.

I've recently been assigned 2 support workers to help me but I'm now fixated on this SMI form before we meet tomorrow and I've been looking for some advice. I've come across some things that I think are worth showing to my GP but I'm not sure if I'm correct in understanding what they mean.

The first one is a NHS brochure thing. Page 10 explains a learning disability and I feel like a lot of those things apply to me. Page 4 says about impaired intelligence and I feel like that also applies to me

The second one is some kind of law website, I don't know if it applies to England but it defines a mental impairment and mentions autism.

The third one is about DLA? I think it's meant for children but page 4 seemed useful.

Fourth is an article about SMI and autism/ADHD. I tried to message the Psychiatrist that diagnosed me as the comments suggest. She hasn't replied as of yet but it is the weekend and I understand that she is busy. I've not seen her in 2 years.

Fifth is a page that seemed like it had good advice

I have a tendency of misinterpreting information when there's a lot of it, latching onto 1 or 2 things and then disregarding the rest so I want to make sure I understand properly.

Would this be sufficient evidence to show my GP, to say that I fall under the council's terms of SMI?

I have recently been deemed as LCWRA after a judge ruling at tribunal so I do not work. My PIP was taken off me because I put in for a change of circumstances but in for appeal again with an advocate's help.


  • wizboque
    wizboque Community member Posts: 24 Connected
  • Hannah_Scope
    Hannah_Scope Posts: 5,985 Disability Gamechanger
    Hello @wizboque

    I'm afraid I haven't got the knowledge to answer this query, hopefully my comment bumps this and someone else in the community may be able to help :) 
    Hannah - She / Her

    Online Community Coordinator @ Scope

    Concerned about another member's safety or wellbeing? Flag your concerns with us.
    Want to give us feedback? Complete our feedback form now.
  • L_Volunteer
    L_Volunteer Community Volunteer Adviser, Scope Member Posts: 7,979 Disability Gamechanger
    edited February 5

    I would like to acknowledge how brave it was of you to reach out to us and share this with us @wizboque.

    As an autistic person, I completely hear you and empathise with you regarding how ‘high-functioning’ and ‘low-functioning’ can be misused.

    Autism, itself, isn’t a learning disability. However, some autistic people can also have learning disabilities.

    You have mentioned having constant anxiety and suicidal thoughts. Have you got the support you need and deserve with this?

    It sounds really frustrating that you have only been signposted to cost services, which you cannot afford at the moment.

    In an ideal world, what would support look like for you at the moment? I want to ensure we signpost you to some free support if we can.

    Each council is likely to have a different definition of SMI, I am afraid. This will mean that different things are required for each council.

    Are you able to locate your council’s definition of SMI / have support with this from someone who knows your council? 

    I think they would be best placed if you have access to this type of support, especially as you said you have previously received support from an advocate.

    I can hear that it is a really difficult time for you at the moment. We are here for you and listening to you <3

    Community Volunteer Adviser with professional knowledge of education, special educational needs and disabilities and EHCP's. Pronouns: She/her. 

    Please note: if I use the online community outside of its hours of administration, I am doing so in a personal capacity only.


Complete our feedback form and tell us how we can make the community better.

Do you need advice on your energy costs?

Scope’s Disability Energy Support service is open to any disabled household in England or Wales in which one or more disabled people live. You can get free advice from an expert adviser on managing energy debt, switching tariffs, contacting your supplier and more. Find out more information by visiting our
Disability Energy Support webpage.