18 May 2022
Work on distributing £150 Council Tax energy rebates across West Northamptonshire is making good progress.
The rebate, which is being paid to help with the rise in the cost of living, applies to around 143,000 homes in Council Tax Bands A to D across the area and the sum will not need to be repaid.
The majority of those who pay their Council Tax by direct debit should have now received the rebate and this week West Northamptonshire Council is writing to the remaining 42,000 homes who do not pay by direct debit encouraging them to confirm their bank details so payment can be made. The letter will include a unique passcode enabling residents to apply online, plus a paper application for those residents unable to access the internet.
The government payments are being administered by West Northamptonshire Council’s Revenues and Benefits Service which has been working tirelessly to put new processes in place and distribute the payments as quickly as possible.
Malcolm Longley, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “We are only too aware of the cost-of-living increases people are facing and we are doing everything we can to make these payments as soon as possible.
“The Government stipulation is that councils need to make a payment rather than simply crediting Council Tax accounts, which has resulted in both significant additional work for our staff and the need for changes to our IT systems.
“However we are making good progress and have now issued payments to the majority of direct debit payers, with around 6,000 due to receive theirs once final eligibility checks have been completed in line with Government fraud guidance.
Households who don’t pay by direct debit should look out for a letter including details on how to apply on line in order receive their payment as soon as possible.
“Those unable to apply online will be able to make a paper application which will be sent with the letter they receive, although this process is likely to take slightly longer to verify and approve."
All claims received by the Council will be validated and, if no issues are raised, payment will be made. Based on the volumes of claims we are expecting and depending on how quickly applications are returned, we would expect to start making payments for non-direct debit payers towards the end of May.
To ensure that all eligible residents receive the rebate, any residents that have not made an application, online or by post, by 31 July 2022 and for whom bank account details are not known will have their Council Tax account credited with the £150 payment.
The Council also has a discretionary scheme to help those in Bands E-H and non-Council Taxpayers who are deemed vulnerable. Further information about this will be published shortly.
Advice and support for anyone struggling financially is available from Citizens Advice.