Council Tax rebate grant

The Government’s Council Tax Rebate Grant, administered locally by West Suffolk Council working with Anglia Revenues Partnership, is to help households with the rising cost of energy bills.
Under the main scheme, a grant of £150 was available to households in Council Tax bands A-D. The Council, and Anglia Revenues Partnership has already administered this with more than £9 million paid to over 62,000 households in West Suffolk.


Discretionary

The Council was also given £270,300 “discretionary” money by Government to target support to the households the local authority identifies as most in need.

Using some of that funding, we are now offering grants to:

  • care leavers placed in accommodation since April 2022
  • people who were homeless and placed in accommodation by our housing team since April 2022
  • people in Houses of Multiple Occupation or other accommodation where the landlord pays the Council Tax but the applicant pays the energy bills
  • and people in Council Tax bands E-H who can demonstrate exceptional hardship.

Full details of this and how to apply are available on our Exceptional discretionary grant scheme page. 

Alongside the above, West Suffolk Council is also targeting support to band E-H households who get a reduction to their Council Tax due to income or due to a disability but who were not eligible under the main Government scheme.

These households have been identified through the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS), the Disabled Band Reduction scheme and the Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme.

Anglia Revenues Partnership has written to all E-H households in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme and the Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme, and to all F-H households in the Disabled Band Reduction scheme (Households in band E homes who receive the Disabled Band Reduction, will have already received the grant under the main Government scheme).

Households that are eligible and that are already set up for direct debit on their Council Tax will have had the money paid straight into their bank accounts in the week of 18 July.

Those not on direct debit will have had a letter asking them to complete a form so we know how to pay them. The deadline for this is 31 July 2022. If you need help with this form, please contact Anglia Revenues Partnership on their helpline on 01842 756456. 

Please note, ARP will only ask for bank details for LCTRS, SMI or DBR households where the resident has called the designated helpline for help to complete the online form. Any other phone contact from ARP will encourage the residents to call the helpline number on their letter.

Claims are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks that we are required to do.

Households not on direct debit that complete the form and pass the pre-payment checks, will have the money paid into their bank on or around 10 August.

Households not on direct debit that don’t go online to complete the form and those who don’t pass the pre-payment checks, will have the money applied to their Council Tax account on or around 5 August 2022. For those who have had it applied to their Council Tax account, a revised bill showing the lower amount will then be sent to them. Anglia Revenues Partnership will then work to contact and help any households who are in credit on their Council Tax bill, to get the money transferred into the resident’s bank account ahead of the winter.

Households who are in credit on their Council Tax can also complete a form to have the money transferred into their bank.

In addition to this, we have also decided to make a small £20 top up to all West Suffolk households – bands A-H who are in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme to help towards this winter.

In total, residents in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in bands E-H will have received £170 by 10 August 2022, either paid to their bank account or taken off their Council Tax bill (this amount includes both the £150 grant and the £20 top up) And residents in the Severe Mental Impairment exemption (bands E-H) or the Disability Band Reduction scheme (bands F-H), will receive £150.

You can check details of eligibility  here.

Households in bands A-D who are in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme will receive the £20 top up in the same way that they received the £150 rebate grant, so those who we have verified bank details for will have the money paid into their bank account and those who we don’t, will have the money applied to their Council Tax account. Households who were in credit on their Council Tax account after receiving the £150 grant and who then successfully applied to have money refunded into a bank account, will have the top up money paid automatically into their bank account.

Some of your questions answered

Below are some of the answers to questions we and other councils have asked Government on your behalf, plus information from the Government guidance.

Can councils make payment to a third party?

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider it appropriate for a payment to be made to a third party if nominated by an eligible, liable council taxpayer. We will undertake the appropriate pre-payment checks in relation to the nominated individual, while ensuring the taxpayer isn’t under duress to nominate the third party. Please be aware, however, that in the case of third-party claims, we would ask that you provide bank statements to energyrebate@angliarevenues.gov.uk when you submit your form. This may prevent your application from failing the pre-payment checks and enable us to process the payment more quickly.

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. Here is a sample letter that you may wish to use to exercise your right of appropriation.

There are other frequently asked questions on the Government's website