Phase two discretionary Council Tax Rebate Grant

Exceptional discretionary grant scheme – Council Tax Rebate Grant

Applications to this scheme closed on 31 October 2022. This deadline is given as the Government says no more grants can be paid after the end of November 2022. In early November, if any discretionary money is left, we will process the last of the grants and decided how we allocate any remaining money. 

The discretionary scheme was open to:

  • care leavers
  • people who have been in temporary accommodation
  • people living in Houses of Multiple Occupation
  • and people living in other accommodation who pay the energy bills but have their Council Tax paid by their landlord.

Grants were also available for people who do not meet the other criteria but are experiencing exceptional financial hardship. All grants are subject to criteria. 

For details of the discretionary scheme paid out for households in Council Tax bands E-H in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS) and the Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme, and bands F-H for the Disabled Band Reduction scheme, please see our Council Tax Rebate Grant page.

 

Background

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.

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. As detailed on the Council Tax Rebate Grant page, West Suffolk Council is using the majority of this money to target support to households in Council Tax bands E-H in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS) and the Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme, and bands F-H for the Disabled Band Reduction scheme

West Suffolk Council is using the remaining discretionary money, an estimated £58,560, to provide support to the following:

Who is it for? How much is it? Summary of criteria How are they being contacted
People who were in care or temporary accommodation and moved into  new tenancy after 1 April 2022 £170 1.    Moved into new tenancy allocated by the local authority.
2.    Responsible for energy bills at property.
3.    Responsible for Council Tax, however those on low or no Council Tax due to exemption can still get the grant.

Anglia Revenues Partnership (ARP) to write directly to these households.

Phone contact may also be made encouraging residents to complete form.

As above but in a House of Multiple Occupation Up to £100 As above but not responsible for Council Tax as paid by the Landlord.
 
As above
Residents in Houses of Multiple Occupancy or people in other accommodation where the landlord pays the Council Tax but the applicant pays for energy. Residents will need to show that they were in the property on 1 April 2022
 
Up to £100 1.    Open to Council Tax bands E-H
2.    Properties in classes N, P, S U and W are not eligible.
West Suffolk Council will write to registered Houses of Multiple Occupancy encouraging occupiers to apply, while ARP will write to landlords to ask that they encourage their tenants.
Residents in band E-H homes who do not meet the above categories but are experiencing exceptional financial hardship
Residents will need to show that they were in the property on 1 April 2022
Up to £150 Applicants must be able to demonstrate exceptional financial hardship. This funding may include residents who have a pre-payment meter for gas and/or electricity, and who have a current Individual Voluntary Arrangement in place. We will highlight this through the media, social media, as well as writing to stakeholders including our housing team, councillors, town and parish councils, community groups, community support organisations and NHS partners.
 

Our partners at Anglia Revenues Partnership wrote to households identified as care leavers and placed into a new tenancy from April 2022 or having previously been in temporary accommodation and then placed into a new tenancy by our housing team since April 2022. West Suffolk Council wrote to the occupant of registered Houses of Multiple Occupancy. 

All bank account details are subject to mandatory pre-payment checks using our secure application supplied by the cabinet office. 


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.