In council tax bands A to D? Set up a direct debit now with your local authority to ensure you get the £150 'energy rebate' in April
About 20 million households in England – those with homes in council tax bands A to D – will get a £150 rebate in April. Here's how to guarantee you'll get it on time.
With four in five households and around 95% of rented properties eligible for the £150 payment, it's imperative that your local authority has your bank account details in order to process the payment by April.
If you already pay your council tax by direct debit then you don't need to do anything and the money will go directly into your bank account. And it's important to remember that you don't have to repay the £150, unlike the new £200 energy bill levy.
But if you don't pay your council tax by direct debit, things may take a little longer. According to the Department for Communities and Levelling Up: "Those who do not pay by direct debit will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim."
However, to best ensure you receive the payment on time, set up a direct debit now if you can. This overrides you having to wait for your council to invite you to make a claim and will ensure they have your bank account details in order to make the payment automatically and on time in April. You can choose to end your direct debit agreement with your local authority once you've received the payment if you want to.
If you choose not to set up a direct debit but are eligible for the payment, you'll still receive it, but there may be a delay as it's up to your local authority to contact you to arrange it.
Here are a couple of tweets on the issue from MSE founder Martin Lewis:
Still confused? Here are your key questions answered
- Do you have to repay the £150? No you don't, it's yours. This payment is distinct and separate from the new £200 energy bill levy, which you do have to repay.
- I don't have a direct debit set up with my council. How can I get the payment? Your council will proactively contact you to discuss how you'll receive the £150. But if you set up a direct debit now, your council will be able to automatically make the payment into your bank account from April.
- Can I set up a direct debit to receive the payment and then opt out? Yes, we'd encourage you to set up a direct debit to make sure you receive the payment as soon as possible. Then it's entirely up to you to cancel the direct debit once you've received the money.
- When will I receive the payment? If you have a direct debit agreement set up with your local authority, you should expect the payment to come through in April. If not, councils have been instructed to pay all eligible households by no later than 30 September 2022.
- What if I live in Scotland or Wales? Households in Scotland will get their payment in a similar way to households in England if they pay their council tax through direct debit. However, Scottish councils will be able to decide whether to give households the £150 as a cash payment or credit off council tax bills. For now, the Welsh Government is yet to provide details on how households can receive the support payment.