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A council tax rebate is being paid to millions of households to mitigate rising energy prices in the UK battles.
The one-off £150 payment will not need to be repaid, unlike a separate £200 energy bills payment, part of a range of measures announced to combat a worsening cost of living crisis.
While the rebate has begun to be rolled out, many people will be wondering if they have to do anything to claim the payment, and if they are eligible – here’s everything you need to know.
Do I need to apply for the council tax rebate?
Eligible groups should not have to apply to receive the council tax rebate, so long as you pay your bill by direct debit.
If you do, then the one-off payment will automatically be credited to your account.
The rebate will be provided as a separate payment, rather than as part of your council tax bill.
When will you get your £150 rebate?
If you are eligible, you could receive the £150 council tax rebate soon, with payments rolled out from April onwards.
The Government states in its official guidance: “All Council Tax Rebate grants should be paid as soon as possible from April.”
However, this advice adds that councils have until 30 September 2022 to process the rebate.
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Getting the money to council taxpayers without direct debit arrangements takes longer, according to the Local Government Association (LGA), as councils need to attempt to contact them about the rebate scheme and undertake pre-payment checks.
However, even if you do pay by direct debit, according to MoneySavingExpert people should prepare themselves for rebate coming later than April.
There are reports of one council telling residents a “software issue” was holding the payments up and they would not receive their payment until “at least June”. Another said residents might not receive their payment until September.
The Telegraph reported that a minority of councils have already paid the rebate to taxpayers, with many saying that residents would have to wait until late May for the payment.
Who can claim the council tax rebate?
The council tax rebate is being paid to households whose home was in council tax bands A to D in England on 1 April – this affects around 20 million homes, including 95 per cent of rented properties.
This criteria has been mirrored in Scotland with its scheme, and the Welsh Government said it will offer similar terms too.
If you live in England or Wales you can find out your council tax band by entering your postcode into the government website here.
You can also use this service to challenge your council tax band if you think it is wrong.
Those who live in Scotland will need to use the Scottish Assessors website.
Your council tax band is based on the price the property would have sold for on the open market on 1 April 1991 in England and Scotland, and 1 April 2003 in Wales.
In England bands A to D cover properties with a value of up to £88,000, in Scotland the upper limit is £58,000 and the threshold for Wales is £123,000