In the UK thousands of people are paying council tax unaware that they could potentially avoid paying the national tax or receive a discount.

It comes as many could be offered a discount if they have been diagnosed by a doctor as “severely mentally impaired” (SMI) according to The Mirror.

A person's discounts vary depending on if they live with others with some cases potentially meaning that you could be owed money in back payments.

If you think that you have a medical condition that could mean you’re exempt or receive a discount for council tax, you can check the full list of SMIs below.

Full list of medical conditions exempt from paying council tax

The following conditions are classed as SMI:

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Learning difficulties
  • Parkinson’s
  • Dementia (including Alzheimer's)
  • Long last effects of a severe stroke

Although the above is a list of conditions that are classed as part of SMI, a person will need a doctor's diagnosis to be able to apply for the council tax discount.

Stroud News and Journal: Could you be entitled to a council tax discount?Could you be entitled to a council tax discount? (Image: PA)

As well as having an SMI, you also need to be receiving one of the following benefits in England, Wales and Scotland to receive the discount.

It’s important to note that in Scotland, anyone who is eligible for the benefit but not receiving could also be entitled to a council tax discount.

The following benefits include:

  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance (higher or middle-rate care)
  • Increase in Disablement Pension 
  • Unemployability Supplement or Allowance
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Income Support (includes a disability premium)
  • Personal Independence Payment (standard or enhanced daily living)
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment

The list of benefits you must be claiming extends to the following in England and Wales:

  • Disability Working Allowance
  • Universal Credit

While in Scotland you can also apply for a discount if you are eligible for the following:

  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Universal Credit
  • Tax Credits (including disability element)

If you have been diagnosed with an SMI and live alone, you could be entitled to a 100% discount and not have to pay any council tax.

Persons classed as part of SMI and living with an adult carer could receive a 50% discount or a single person could get a 25% discount if living with someone who qualifies for paying council tax.

However, anyone with an SMI and living with two or more paying adults will not receive any discount.

How to claim a council tax discount

If you think that you could be able to claim a council tax discount, you should contact your local council with proof of diagnosis from a GP.

It’s important to know that councils are not obliged to backdate council tax discount claims as each local authority has its own policy.