About the Rebate Grant
This is a Government scheme being administered locally by Anglia Revenues Partnership on behalf of West Suffolk Council. The Rebate Grant is for £150 and is for band A-D households to help toward the increased costs in energy bills. The money doesn’t have to be paid back.
This includes those whose council tax bill is £0 owing to an existing award of Council Tax support, as well as certain exempt dwellings. It does not include empty or second homes.
Households on direct debit
WSC are already in the process of administering over £6.3million of the Rebate Grant to more than 42,000 households whose residents pay their Council Tax by direct debit. Where the direct debit payee information is different to the name(s) they hold on their files for that address, payments may take slightly longer to check and process. Those who signed up to direct debit and have had their first successful Council Tax payment by direct debit before the end of April 2022 will receive their grant by the end of this month (April 2022). New direct debit payers still awaiting their first successful direct debit payment will be able to check our webpage https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/counciltax/council-tax-rebate-grant.cfm to see when they will receive the grant.
Households not on direct debit
This still leaves over 16,000 households who don’t pay by direct debit and for whom WSC hold no bank details.
Anglia Revenues Partnership will be writing to these residents encouraging them to complete a simple, secure online form so we can get the rebate grant to them as swiftly as possible. But there is no need for residents to wait for their letter. Instead, they can complete the form online atwww.angliarevenues.gov.uk/WSrebate
Eligible residents have until 31 May 2022 to complete the online form. After this date, any eligible households will have the rebate grant applied to their Council Tax bill to reduce their payments for the rest of the year. This is expected to take place around mid-June after which a new bill for a lesser amount will be sent out. WSC will then work with any residents who due to their circumstances end up in credit on their Council Tax account, to get the Rebate Grant transferred into their bank accounts as soon as possible.
If residents chose to complete a claim form and provide bank details, then the payments are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks designed to reduce the risk of fraud. If no issues are highlighted during these checks, then the process from claim to payment should take up to 10 working days.
West Suffolk Council has also received £270,300 to administer discretionary grants to those who we and our partner organisations identify as vulnerable and likely to be the most impacted by rising energy prices and the increased cost of living. This will include residents in band E-H properties who for Council Tax purposes are considered to be ‘severely mentally impaired’ and those who receive a Disability Reduction or Local Council Tax Reduction. There will also be a hardship scheme that people can apply to.
West Suffolk Council will update us again when they are ready to launch these discretionary schemes.
Questions you may have
My Direct Debit for Council Tax has already come out in April so why haven’t I received the rebate grant yet?
There are some households where the direct debit payee information is different to the name(s) we hold on record for that Council Tax property address. If you are one of these households you should either receive the payment or hear from us by Friday 6 May 2022.
I’ve set up to pay my Council Tax by direct debit and my first payment is due to come out on or after 1 May 2022 – why haven’t I received the rebate grant yet?
WSC have to take the first Council Tax payment to verify the bank account before they can then pay the rebate grant into it. The table further above indicates when you should expect to receive the rebate grant in your bank account.
How long will it take for me as someone who hasn’t paid by their Council Tax by direct debit, to have the details submitted in the form processed and paid?
The payments are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks designed to reduce the risk of fraud. If no issues are highlighted during these checks, then the process from claim to payment should take up to 10 working days.
Will accepting the payment affect my benefits?
No. The Government has made it clear that Council Tax rebate payments will be disregarded when income-related benefits, including Council Tax reduction, are being calculated.
Are the payments taxable?
No. You don’t need to inform HMRC of the amounts received and if you are self-employed you don’t need to report the amounts on your Self-Assessment tax return.
Will the payments affect my tax credits?
No. As these payments are non-taxable they do not impact tax credits. Tax credits claimants do not need to report these payments as income to HMRC.
I’m overdrawn and don’t want the payment to be used to pay off my overdraft. What do I do?
You can exercise what is known as a ‘first right of appropriation’ on the £150 payment, so that your bank doesn’t use it to pay off your overdraft. A sample letter that you may wish to use to exercise your right of appropriation is available here: National Debtline – Sample letters – Ask your bank to pay particular bills out of your account