Care Questions : Article 25Care Questions : Article 25

Your Care Questions Answered by Angela Gifford - ARTICLE No.25

"I am a pensioner with a fixed income. Is it possible for me to claim a reduction in my Council Tax?"

Answer : Although you are a pensioner you have not given me details of your income. Therefore, I can only give you some general information from which you will be able to see if you can get either a reduction or perhaps have to pay nothing at all.

If you are in receipt of the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit you will get all your Council Tax paid. However, this is not automatic, you will have to claim your exemption. If you do not get the guarantee credit part of Pension Credit and have savings in excess of £16,000 you are not eligible.

You can also get all your Council Tax paid in full if:

If your income is higher than the above amounts and you are either severely disabled or a carer you may still get all your Council Tax paid.

Dependent on the amount of Council Tax bill, you may still get some help if your income is higher than the above and you are aged 65 years or more.

The easiest way if you are unsure if you qualify for financial help is to go to your local Council and ask for advice and help. You can, if you are eligible, claim back benefit for a 12 month period (age 60 and above) and if you have to complete a form to apply, staff will help you complete it.

You do not say if you live alone, but if this is so, then you are automatically entitled to have your Council Tax cut by 25%. Similarly if you are disabled and your house meets certain conditions you may be entitled to a reduction of about 17%.

"I have not been to a dentist for a long time and when I recently broke my denture and contacted my practice, they told me that because I had not been for many years, I was no longer on their register. They had advised me of this but I had moved and the letter had been returned. How can I find another dentist who will accept me for treatment having already tried two other practices that are full? I am a pensioner and cannot afford private treatment."

Answer : Much publicity has been given about the difficulty in finding English NHS dentists if you wish to register or need emergency treatment.

However there is a way in which you can find out if there is a local practice in your locality, or if not, where the nearest practice is that is accepting new NHS patients.

The information will also advise you as to specific services that are available in individual practices e.g. Dental Hygienist. Opening times and other information is also available.

To look up the information in your area log on to:

"I use a wheelchair to go shopping in my local village and going from one shop another means I have to cross the road at one point where the kerb is high and therefore makes it difficult and time consuming for me to cross unaided. Who do I contact to see if I can get this kerb lowered?"

Answer : Contact your local District Council Planning Services and make a request that they take a look to see if lowering the kerb is possible. Outline your circumstances in a letter and the address will be in your local telephone book.

"I am in my seventies and in good health. I have no close family but I do have my dog who is nine years old. Recently a friend died suddenly and this made me think about what would happen to Rex if I died unexpectedly. Have you any suggestions?"

Answer : In 1985 The Cinnamon Trust was formed to address such a problem as you have anticipated. The Trust has a network of over 4000 volunteers who help when elderly people, for example are unable to take their dog for a walk, clean their budgie cage out, have to go into hospital through to providing care for a much loved pet when their owner dies. They can be contacted in the following ways: