The council tax rebate will be for all households in England that are in council tax bands A, B, C or D – the government says this covers around 80% of all homes
Millions of Brits across the UK will be eligible for a £150 rebate off their council tax bill from this month – but who exactly can claim the help?
The money should arrive in bank accounts in April and has been confirmed to help struggling Brits during the cost of living crisis.
The big bill that has gone up is energy. Ofgem has today hiked its energy price cap from £1,277 to £1,971 – an eye-watering increase of £693 and a massive hit on household bills.
This applies to those on default tariffs paying by direct debit and came into effect from April 1.
Prepayment customers are being worse hit with an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.
At the same time, council tax bills are also rising by 3.5% on average from today, broadband and mobile bills are going up and water bills are increasing too.
The Bank of England has raised interest rates to 0.75% from 0.5% as well – adding to the bills misery for homeowners with a mortgage.
We explain how the council tax rebates will work and who is eligible.
Who is eligible for the £150 off council tax and how do I get it?
The council tax rebate will apply to homes in council tax bands A, B, C or D in England and Wales – roughly 80% of properties – but not those who live in council tax bands E, F, G and H (or I as well, in Wales).
Scotland residents will also be entitled to £150 off if they are in bands A to D – but they’re also qualify if they’re currently getting a council tax reduction as well.
If you’re eligible, the money won’t need to be paid back and will be issued directly from councils from April.
For those who pay by Direct Debit, councils will use the details they have for you in their system to send the money directly to your bank account from April.
If you don’t pay by Direct Debit, councils should invite you to put in a claim and ask you for your account details so they can process the payment.
Are you worried about the cost of living crisis? Let us know: [email protected]
The government estimates 95% of renters pay their own council tax, so would be covered by the support.
A £144 million funding pot will also be provided to support vulnerable people and poorer people who do not pay council tax in England, or that pay council tax for properties in Bands E, F, G and H.
Returned governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are expected to receive around £565million of Barnett funding to help those not covered by council tax grants.
Other support includes announced a £200 upfront discount on energy bills.
Energy suppliers will be loaned the money to do this by the government, and should apply the discount from October.
But customers will have to pay back the £200 discount at a rate of £40 per year out of their bills, in the five years from 2023 to 2027.
Other ways to lower your council tax
Some people could be entitled to a council tax discount ranging from 25% to 100% off your bill.
But the help offered depends on where you live – so it’s best to get in touch with your local authority to see what you could claim.
But as an example, if you’re the only adult living at your address then you could be entitled to 25% off your council tax bill.
The same goes if there is one adult living with someone else who is “disregarded”.
This could be one student and one adult living together, or a live-in carer who looks after someone with a disability.
You could get 50% off your council tax bill if everyone is your home is “disregarded” from this bill.
And the maximum 100% discount could apply to someone who has a severe mental impairment and lives alone, or if you live in an all-student household.
You may also be able to claim help through a Council Tax Reduction scheme (sometimes called Council Tax Support) if you’re on a low income or on certain benefits.
You could see your council tax bills reduced by as much as 100% depending on your circumstances.
Whether you are entitled to help through a Council Tax Support scheme largely depends on the following:
- where you live
- Your circumstances (eg income, number of children, benefits, residence status)
- Your household income – this includes savings, pensions and your partner’s income
- If your children live with you
- If other adults live with you
You can apply if you own your home, rent, are unemployed or working.
Again, each council has their own scheme so the help offered isn’t guaranteed – but it is still worth checking out.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.