Derek Brown has launched a fight to change how council tax discounts affect people with dementia. Mr Brown is a 71-year-old full-time carer for his wife Margaret, 81, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. There is growing anger that those diagnosed with dementia “are not getting the financial help they are entitled to”.
Speaking to GB News, Mr Brown said: “The 600,000 who are looking after people at home, no one tells you about the financial help.
“They should be knowing about it.
“There is no medical pathway to teach you what you need next.
“If you have cancer or you die, there is a medical pathway, that leads you hand-in-hand through the system.”
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He continued: “There is nothing if you have dementia.
“More people die through dementia than die of cancer, yet there is no system to help you.
“It’s criminal, it is criminal.”
When asked about caring for his wife, Mr Brown responded: “I have been caring for Margaret for three years.
Instead, the discount only covered Mr Brown from the day he was approved for another carer’s benefit, the Attendance Allowance, which is worth up to £89.60 a week.
Gavin Terry, head of policy at the Alzheimer’s Society, echoed Mr Brown’s outrage, telling the Yorkshire Post: “It’s absolutely criminal that people with dementia aren’t getting the financial help they are entitled to.
“As it stands, people with severe dementia are eligible for discounts or even exemptions on their council tax, but we know from talking to people affected by dementia that they often aren’t aware of these crucial entitlements.
“What is even more confusing, is that some local authorities are not backdating the discount to the point at which a person is certified as having severe dementia, while others are – this is unfair, and this is what Derek’s campaign is seeking to change.”
This comes as Downing Street looks at plans to pay for fixing the social care system in England.
Ministers could impose an increase in either income tax or employee national insurance, which could be rebranded as a social care levy.