Council Tax rebate to help with your energy bills

To help households with rising energy costs, the UK Government announced a £150 payment for eligible households.

Why is the government providing support?

From 1 April 2022, the energy price cap has risen, and many households will struggle to pay higher energy bills and to heat their homes.

Find out about the full range of support it is introducing.

Am I eligible for the £150 payment?

You are eligible if:

·       your home is in Council Tax bands A to D (or band E where a disabled band reduction is applied), and;

·       it was your sole or main residence on 1 April 2022, and

·       you are liable for council tax, or would be if your property were not exempt

If you pay less than £150 Council Tax, or you receive single person discount, or do not pay because you receive Council Tax support, you will still be entitled to the payment.

The payment will not be made for empty or second homes, or to non-resident landlords.

What happens if I pay my Council Tax by Direct Debit?

You don’t need to do anything. We will pay £150 into your bank account.

Your bank account statement will show this as ‘Newark & Sherwood’.

Rebates have been paid to households whose first Council Tax payment for 2022-2023 has been taken, and where the names on the bank account and Council Tax records match. If the bank accounts are in different names to the Council Tax account, we will issue a Post Office claim letter to you in an effort to get the payment to you as soon as we can.

What happens if I don't pay my Council Tax by direct debit? 

You don’t need to do anything. The first person named on your Council Tax bill will receive a letter with a unique bar code that can be scanned at any Post Office to receive their cash payment. You can find your nearest Post Office branch at postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder.

You 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 and all will be sent out by the end of July.

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.

Note that the Government does not allow the council to credit your Council Tax account in the first instance. This is why we are sending the letters to claim via the Post Office.

What if I cannot get to a Post Office branch?

You can contact us and we will issue a letter to you with a link to a form where you can submit your 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.

Note that the Government does not allow the council to credit your Council Tax account in the first instance. This is why we are sending the letters to claim via the Post Office.

What happens if I am exempt from paying Council Tax?

You don’t need to do anything. We will send a letter to the persons named on your Council Tax bill so they can claim £150 cash at your chosen Post Office.

Where is my local post office?

Use your postcode or street name to find your nearest post office at postoffice.co.uk.

What if I don't receive my payment and I pay by direct debit?

If you pay by direct debit but don’t receive a bank transfer, this is because we were not able to match your bank details with the information on your Council Tax account.

We will send you a letter telling you what to do.

What happens if I don’t claim my £150?

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.

What do I do if I am not eligible, but you have sent me the payment?

Tell us immediately by contacting us.

How can I check my Council Tax band?

If you don’t know which band your property is in, look on your latest Council Tax bill or Check your council tax band online - GOV.UK.

I have lost or damaged/ripped my letter. What can I do?

Please contact us, we will be able to cancel the original letter and issue you with a new one. If later on, you find the original letter, please destroy it as you will not be able to use it.

Is this payment taxable?

No, it isn’t.

What can I spend it on?

The payment is being given to help with energy costs e.g. towards your gas and electricity bills but you have the final say on how it is used.

Do I need to pay this back?

No, the payment does not need to be paid back.

Why can you not simply take it off my Council Tax bill?

The Government have asked to us make direct payments to households.

I own an empty home, will I get it?

No, empty homes are not eligible.

I am a lodger, will I get payment?

No, the payment is per household and will be paid to the liable person.

I pay rent and my landlord asks me to contribute to energy costs but he is bill payer, what happens?

If you are liable to pay Council Tax on 1 April 2022 you will receive the payment. This means that in most cases we will pay the tenant as they are liable to pay Council Tax.

I do not qualify for the £150. Can I still get help?

The government provided the 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

The Discretionary Funding will be paid in the same way as outlined above for direct debit and non-direct debit payers.

Other support has been announced by the government.

I would like my Council Tax band to be reviewed

The Government has decided that any review, proposal or appeal made to the Valuation Office Agency on or after 3 February 2022 will not result in a £150 payment, even if the Council Tax band is reduced to band D or lower. We advise you to not contact the Valuation Office Agency to enquire about a band review, proposal, or challenge specifically in order to become eligible for the £150.

Beware of scams

We are asking our residents to be aware of scam callers and not to share their bank details in order to receive £150 payment. Please do not give your bank details to anyone claiming to be from the council. We will never contact you to ask for your bank details by phone, text or e-mail.