Council Tax Rebate Payment - FAQs
Updated 23rd May 2022
Our Customer Contact team is currently receiving very high levels of calls regarding the £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate. We have created a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to help give residents answers as easily as possible. Please only call our Customer Contact team if your query is not answered below.
1. Who will receive the payment?
Council taxpayers who lived in a property on 1st April 2022, as their main home, providing it is in Council Tax bands A to D. Only one payment will be made per property and no payment will be made to empty properties or second homes.
Additionally, taxpayers living in a Band E property as their home but paying the Band D rate as a result of a Disabled Band Reduction will also qualify.
2. How is the payment going to be paid?
Most residents who have a Direct Debit set up for payment of their Council Tax will receive a payment into the bank account from which their monthly Direct Debit is taken. We have now started making payments, please check your bank account over the next week.
We will write to those who do not have a Direct Debit set up, or whose bank details we were not able to validate, requesting bank details for a one-off payment to be made to them. The letter will direct them to an online form to capture the details. This form is undergoing testing at present. We will update this when the testing is complete so please check back regularly to find out when we will start sending out letters.
The above process also applies to those on benefits who currently do not pay Council Tax and also for anyone who does pay by Direct Debit but the payee account is in a different name to that of the liable person at the property.
Residents CANNOT call us up to provide bank details for the one-off payment at the moment but can set up a Direct Direct online now to ensure they receive their £150 payment.
No payments can be made until AFTER the first Direct Debit of the year has been taken and cleared. This first payment will be used by way of validation to confirm the bank details we hold are still correct.
3. When is it going to be paid?
The Government has given the Council a deadline of September 2022 to make all the payments. We expect is to have made most payments to residents who pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit during May, after which Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council and South Holland District Council will all move to a manual process of collecting bank details for over 40,000 people across their three Council Districts.
We have started making payments to Direct Debit payers, please check your bank account over the next week.
Once all Direct Debit payments are actioned, letters will be sent to everyone else asking them to provide us with their details - the Council then has until September to process them all.
There is no guaranteed date that the payment will be received.
4. What do I need to do? (as a resident)
If you already have a Direct Debit set up - you don't need to do anything.
If you would like to receive your payment sooner rather than later in the year, you can set up a Direct Direct online now for your Council Tax.
If you fall into any other category, you just need to wait to hear from us in writing, which will be from June onwards.
5. Will this be taken off my bill?
In most cases - no. The payment is to help residents with their energy costs, not their Council Tax, and the Council is therefore attempting to process it as a separate payment.
However, the Council will make the payment to a Council Tax account if necessary.
6. How does the payment link to my Council Tax?
The Council Tax Energy Rebate is separate to your Council Tax. The Government is simply utilising the existing Council Tax database to process them and identify those households who qualify.
7. What is in place for Band E and above?
There is a provision that could support a small number of residents:
A Disabled Band Reduction - those in a Band E property who qualify for Disabled band reduction will be eligible for the payment.
8. Why does this not apply to me in a higher band?
The criteria for the payment are set by the Government, not the Council. The Council are acting purely as the administrators in this process.
The Council is currently considering a discretionary scheme, but the qualifying conditions for this have not yet been decided.
9. Will I get the payment if I am in arrears with my Council Tax?
Yes. This payment is to help people meet their energy bills and is due to all qualifying properties regardless of whether they have Council Tax to pay or not.
Whether you are in arrears or up to date with your Council Tax is not relevant to the payment, which is to help you with the rising energy prices.
10. My bank account is overdrawn, so I will not be able to access the £150. What can I do?
If you write to your bank before you receive the payment, telling them that you will be receiving money to pay a certain bill, they cannot use that money for any other purposes, such as reducing your overdraft or paying any bank charges. This is called 'the right of first appropriation'.
There is a template letter that has been provided by National Debtline, which you can use by clicking here. You must tell the bank about this before the payment is received though, you cannot do it afterwards.
11. The Council Tax is included in the rent that I pay to my landlord. Will I get a payment?
The purpose of the payment is to assist people paying their energy bills.
If the Council Tax is in your name, but being paid by your landlord, then you will still get the payment.
If the Council Tax bill is in your landlord's name, but the energy bills are in your name, then you may be able to claim a discretionary payment from the Council.
12. Why has my neighbour received her/his payment and I haven't received mine?
There could be a number of reasons for this. If you pay by Direct Debit you should receive it by end of May, if you don't, we will write to you in June to arrange how we will pay the rebate to you. Don't contact us, we will contact you.
13. Why did someone from your department call and ask for my bank details?
WE WON'T CALL AND ASK FOR THIS: The Council will not call, text or email you to ask you for your bank details. If you do receive such a call, text or email, please DO NOT provide your bank details, instead report it to https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040.
14. I receive Council Tax Support will I still get £150 rebate?
YES, 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.
15. Will I have to pay this back?
No you don't have to pay this £150 back, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.
Once we have made the payment we will write to you explaining the assumptions we have made in making it. If the assumptions are correct, you will not need to repay it.
16. What is the Discretionary Scheme?
The Government has provided funding for local Councils to operate a Discretionary Scheme for households in need but who were not eligible for the Energy Rebate. The scheme is being developed and the details will be announced in due course.