Update from the District Council on support for residents with rising costs of living

Posted on: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Since the energy rebate was announced in February 2022, the UK government has made a number of other announcements about ways in which it plans to support residents with rising costs of living.  However, there have been several questions raised and today the District Council is trying to ensure that they all get answered.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, explains: “Let’s be honest, it’s been very confusing for us all.  There are seven different schemes launched by the Government, all with different names, all payable to different people in different circumstances and by different bodies.  Today, I’d like to draw a line under the confusion caused by the announcements as these measures really are good news and I’d like to ensure all residents know what they are entitled to and receive their payments.

“Out of the seven schemes, there are two which the government has asked Councils to deliver.  The first is a one off payment of £150 which the government referred to as the ‘Energy Bills Rebate’.  To date we have paid the £150 rebate to over 75% of eligible households in the district.  It’s great that these payments, valuing over £5m in total, have been paid but we need to make sure the remaining 25% get theirs and we are introducing a new method to allow residents to receive their £150 in cash directly from the post office.”

In an effort to ensure the details of the scheme are clear, the District Council has released a summary, outlined below.  The first two payments listed below will be paid to you by the District Council and includes details of how you can receive this money if you haven’t already.

1            £150 Council Tax Energy Bills Rebate

What is this?
This is a £150 one-off payment to those living in households in Council Tax bands A-D and to those who live in a band E property who receive a disabled band reduction. 

Who will I receive this from?
Newark and Sherwood District Council.  See below as to how you will receive this.

2            Discretionary Funding

What is this?
The government provided the District Council with discretionary funding with no guidance as to how this was to be issued.  Time was spent by the District Council to ensure that a fair scheme was drawn up so those most in need received this additional funding.  In Newark and Sherwood the discretionary funding is being paid as follows:

  • Households in receipt of Council Tax Support in Bands E-H will receive £150
  • Households in receipt of Council Tax Support in Bands A-D (and Band E where Disabled Band Reduction is awarded) will receive an additional £28

Who will I receive this from?
Newark and Sherwood District Council.  See below as to how you will receive this.

How will you receive your Council Tax Energy Bills rebate and Discretionary Funding payments from Newark and Sherwood District Council?

For those who pay their Council Tax by direct debit, payments are being made directly into bank accounts where records match.  A letter will be issued to confirm when this has happened. 

While over 75% of payments have already been processed, this has taken longer where additional verification is needed if the name on the bank account and Council Tax bill do not match.

Households who do not pay by direct debit will receive a letter over the next three weeks with information on how they can receive the payment. The first batch of letters have been posted out today.

Each letter will include a unique bar code that can be scanned at any Post Office to receive their cash payment.  Residents can find their nearest Post Office branch at postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder.

The Council Tax payer will need to take the letter along with two forms of identification and proof of address. This can include:

  • Valid passport
  • National Identity Card (photo)
  • Photo driving licence
  • Other photo identification (e.g. bus pass)
  • Utility bill
  • Post Office Easy ID

The letters have to be sent out in batches to ensure that the Post Office is not overwhelmed.

For those unable to get to a post office

For any claimant that will have difficulties getting to their nearest Post Office branch, they can contact the District Council to receive a link to a form where they can submit their bank details for payment instead. These bank details will need to be verified with the Council Tax records held.

If a payment is not claimed before 31 August 2022, the rebate will instead be applied as a credit to a household’s Council Tax account or, once the Post Office has confirmed with us which payments have not been claimed, we will write a letter to those households asking them to complete a form so we can process their payment to be credited to their bank account.

3            £400 Energy Bills Support Scheme

What is this?
All households will get £400 of support with their energy bills.  This is in addition to the £150 Energy Rebate.  It does not have to be re-paid and will not be recovered through higher bills in future years.

Who will I receive this from?
Energy suppliers will deliver this support to households with a domestic electricity meter over six months from October. Direct debit and credit customers will have the money credited to their account, while customers with pre-payment meters will have the money applied to their meter or paid via a voucher.

4            £650 Cost of Living Payment

What is this?

£650 will be paid to households on means tested benefits.  It will be paid in two instalments to all households receiving the following benefits:

  • Universal Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income Support
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Pension Credit

Who will I receive this from?
From either the DWP or HMRC.  The DWP will make the payment in two lump sums – the first from July, the second in the autumn. Payments from HMRC for those on tax credits only will follow shortly after each to avoid duplicate payments. 

5            £300 Pensioner Cost of Living Payment

What is this?
An additional £300 one-off payment will be made to all pensioner households.  For those in receipt of the Winter Fuel Payment, this is in addition to that.

Who will I receive this from?
The Government.

6            £150 Disability Cost of Living Payment

What is this?
A one-off payment, made on top of any other payments received, which will be made from September, to those who receive:

  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Scottish Disability Benefits
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • War Pension Mobility Supplement

Who will I receive this from?
The Government.

7            Household Support Grant

What is this?
The allocation process is due to be finalised shortly but the fund will be allocated towards rising costs of food, energy and water bills.

Who will I receive this from?
Nottinghamshire County Council.

Hear more from Councillor David Lloyd by watching the Cost of living YouTube video.