More than two months after Rishi Sunak announced a £150 Council Tax rebate to help households facing rising energy bills, the first recipients in West Northamptonshire are still weeks away from seeing any cash and some might be hanging on for months.
The Chancellor revealed the rebate for residents living in properties in council tax bands A to D in the Commons on February 3.
But how people actually get the money will depend on how they pay council tax and their ability to fill in forms online.
For those who pay bills by monthly DIRECT DEBIT, the £150 rebate will be paid directly back into their bank account.
West Northamptonshire Council says this will begin happening from “the middle of May onwards, following collection of instalments on May 1, 2022.”
But those who DO NOT use direct debits will have to wait a little longer.
They will first receive a letter inviting them to apply via an online application form using a dedicated website. Again, the council says these letters will be issued from the “middle of May” onwards.
With the letter you get a link to a website and a unique passcode. You need to complete the application and upload a recent bank statement.
But the council warns: “All applications will be subject to a series of validation checks before any payments are made. If you are unable to access or complete the online form you will be able to make application in writing, further details will be provided in your letter.”
Finally, there is a safety net for those who DO NOT payby direct debit and DO NOT complete an application.
The council says: “To ensure that all eligible residents receive the energy rebate, any residents that have not applied by July 31 will have their council tax account credited with £150.”
In addition to the above rebate, there is a discretionary scheme West Northamptonshire Council will use to assist vulnerable residents who live in properties in council tax bands E to H, or those who do not pay Council Tax — although details on that will not be released for a few weeks yet.