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Council Tax Energy Rebate

Last updated Tuesday 17 May 2022

We have now made payments to 26,972 households who pay by direct debit. This leaves approximately 12,000 households who do not pay by direct debit so will receive a voucher sent by the Post Office that can be exchanged for cash. We are working with the Post Office and hope these letters will start to be sent out within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

On 3 February 2022 the government announced support to help households with rising energy bills including a one-off £150.00 energy payment to council tax payers in bands A-D. This payment will operate outside of the council tax system using council tax lists to identify eligible households. One payment will be made per household. Wyre Forest District Council will be making these payments on behalf of the Government to eligible households in the district. Eligible households do not need to make any application – payments or vouchers will be issued automatically. The rebate does not need to be repaid.

Council Tax Energy Rebate Discretionary Scheme

The Council has been allocated £227,500 to create a discretionary scheme to help those who aren’t eligible for the main scheme, please read the information provided under 'What if my household isn't eligible' below and the council's Discretionary Council Tax Energy Rebate Scheme 2022-23 policy.

Please note: These payments are intended to support all household members. If it is found that you are not the liable person and the rebate has been paid in error the council will seek to recover this money.

You must continue to pay your council tax instalments as normal. Please do not phone or email us as we will update this website as soon as we have further information.

 

One payment per eligible household will be made. A household is a person or group of persons occupying a single dwelling, as defined in section 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

Payments will be made to a liable council taxpayer where all of the following criteria are met on 1 April 2022:

  • Is in Council Tax Bands A - D. This includes property that is valued in band E but has an alternative valuation band of band D, because of a disabled band reduction
  • Is occupied by the liable person and is their only or main home
  • Is the person who is liable to pay the council tax (or would be were the property not exempt) who is not a local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body and
  • Is a chargeable dwelling, or in exemption classes N, S, U or W*

*Class N - Properties occupied solely by students, school or college leavers or non-British spouses of students may be eligible for an exemption

Class S - Properties occupied only by a person or persons aged under 18

Class U - Properties occupied solely by persons who are severely mentally impaired

Class W - Annexes or self-contained parts of a property which are occupied by dependant relatives of the occupants of the main property

The following properties are not eligible: 

  • A property that is someone’s second home will not be eligible.
  • An unoccupied property (for the purposes of calculating council tax) will not be eligible.
  • A local authority, a corporate body or other body such as a housing association, the government or governmental body who is liable to pay the council tax.
  • Houses of multiple occupation where the landlord pays the council tax

The council has been allocated £227,500 to create a discretionary scheme. Due to limited funding it is not possible to provide support to all households in Bands E – H and payments will not be made for any unoccupied premises or second homes. The effective date for the discretionary scheme is 1 April 2022. The scheme is as follows:

  • A one off payment of £150.00 will be made to households in council tax bands E – H and who are in receipt of Council Tax Reduction.
  • A single top up payment of up to £35.00 will be made where any household in council tax bands A – H also receives maximum Council Tax Reduction. This is 80% for working age claimants and 100% for pension age claimants.
  • A one off payment of £150.00 will be awarded to a household in bands A – D who is not liable for council tax but who can provide evidence that they are responsible for energy bills. Where there are multiple households in a single dwelling the payment will be apportioned equally between the number of households.
  • In the cases of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) the £150.00 payment will be divided by the number of available bedrooms and no payment will be made for any rooms that are unoccupied.

If you are eligible under the first two bullet points above, you do not need to contact us. Payments or vouchers will be issued automatically. Direct debit payers will receive their top up payment separately.

If you are not liable for council tax but do pay energy bills, you will need to send the following information to energyrebate@wyreforestdc.gov.uk

  • Name
  • Address
  • Evidence that you are responsible for paying energy bills

The closing date for applications is 30 September 2022.

If you pay your council tax by Direct Debit

We have made 26,972 payments to households who pay by direct debit.  Payments were processed on 3rd, 6th and 9th May. To be considered a direct debit payer the council tax account name must match the bank account name we hold. The last direct debit request must also have been successful.

New Direct Debit payers

We have processed all energy rebate payments for households who signed up to direct debit during April 2022. 

Where a household has more than one person jointly responsible for council tax, payment will be made into the account where the direct debit is received from.

If you don’t pay by Direct Debit or your Direct Debit payment has failed

For all other eligible households who do not meet the criteria for a direct debit payment such as;

  • Those who do not pay by DD as we do not hold any bank account details.
  • Those whose April/May instalments were not successfully collected.
  • Those whose council tax account names are not the same name as the direct debit mandate we hold. 
  • Those who qualify for a ‘top up’ payment as part of our discretionary scheme.

The Post Office will send a letter to you enclosing a voucher. We are now working with the Post Office and hope the vouchers will be sent at the end of May/beginning of June. The voucher will be valid for 3 months and can be exchanged for cash at any Post Office. The letter will explain what identification you will need to take with you. Anyone eligible for the payment who hasn’t exchanged their voucher by the expiry date shown on the letter will have £150.00 credited to their council tax account.

Where a household has more than one person jointly responsible for council tax, the letter will be addressed to all liable council tax payers. The payment is being provided to support all residents of the household and it will be up to the household which person redeems the voucher. 

If your bank account is overdrawn you are able to exercise your 'first right of appropriation'. This means you have the right to tell the bank how you want the £150 payment to be used so that they don't automatically use it to clear your overdraft. The law provides that a customer needs a minimum amount of money to live on. You must contact your bank before the payment is made.

Visit the Citizens Advice Bureau website for further help to claim back any charges.

Where the Council believes the information held about the valuation list, liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 is not correct, we will withhold the payment and take reasonable steps to establish the correct information.

Where records relating to the liable taxpayer(s) or residents’ circumstances as at the 1 April 2022 are retrospectively updated, we will clawback payments where necessary.

The effective date for the Council Tax Energy Rebate is 1 April 2022. Changes made to the council tax band of your home after this date will not be taken into consideration.

The exception to this is newly built homes awaiting a valuation band.  In these circumstances if the effective date is 1 April 2022 or before, a payment can be made provided all the eligibility criteria is met.

The guidance states that one payment of £150 should be made to each household regardless of the number of liable council tax payers.  We will not split the £150 payment between tenants.  If you pay your council tax by direct debit, £150 will be paid into the bank account that is used to pay the council tax. If you do not pay by direct debit, one voucher for £150 will be posted to all liable council taxpayers and it will be for you to decide who redeems the voucher.

If you do not pay by direct debit and would prefer to have the £150.00 credited to your council tax account, you will need to email us at energyrebate@wyreforestdc.gov.uk with your request. Please include your name, address, contact phone number and council tax account number and the financial year you would like the payment to be applied to. Once the voucher has been sent by the Post Office, we will be unable to apply the credit until the voucher has expired.

The Government will not accept deliberate manipulation and fraud. Any person caught falsifying their records to gain money will face prosecution and any funding issued will be subject to claw back, as any grants paid in error.

The council will carry out pre-payment checks on all rebates. 

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