Thousands of people in Darlington who do not pay council tax by direct debit will receive letters asking them to apply for their £150 rebate online.
People who pay council tax by direct debit for homes in Bands A through D received the one-time refund to their bank accounts. Councils are working to meet the needs of those who do not and pay by other means, such as cash or checks.
Councilor Scott Durham gave an update on the deployment, aimed at easing cost of living pressures, at a Darlington council meeting.
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The cabinet member responsible for resources said: “45,000 households will benefit from the scheme. 29,000 of them are paying by direct debit.
“I am delighted to say that at present, 96% of these residents have received their payment, which is 62% of all households that will benefit from the program. It is a very, very difficult program to administer.
“There is a challenge for people who do not pay their council tax by direct debit.”
Teesside Live has already reported how tens of thousands of people in Middlesbrough, Stockton and Redcar and Cleveland will not automatically get the refund if they have not set up direct debits. Councils in these areas operate a system similar to that of Darlington.
You can find out more about your local council’s approach at the links below
Cllr Durham said the council team had worked “extremely hard” on this, reaching out to people and supporting residents.
He added: “They had a few bumps in the road beyond our control. They had software crashes due to upgrades provided by the software developer.
“But saying that, we’re now in a position where very, very soon 16,000 residents will be receiving letters inviting them to apply for the program online.”
In a recent social media post, the council said: “Once the application form is live, we will start writing to people to invite an application.
“This will be done in phases to avoid overloading the website.
“People will not be able to apply until we write to them, as the letter contains a unique security code which is required for application.
“As always, thank you all for your patience – we are working through the thousands of discounts and everyone will receive their payment or personal letter in due time.”
Key details of the council energy tax rebate
What is the council tax reduction?
The council tax refund is a one-time payment of £150 to be made to eligible households to help them cope with the cost of living crisis. It is designed to help low-income households, who are likely to be disproportionately affected by the rising cost of living and may well have to spend more of their income on utility bills. Payments will be made to municipal ratepayers.
Who is eligible?
Those eligible for the council tax refund will need to occupy a property that meets all of the following criteria:
It is valued in municipal tax brackets A to D; ot is someone’s sole or primary residence; it is fee-paying accommodation, or in exemption classes N, S, U or W. O about the corresponding cost of living assistance.”
By when is it due?
The municipal tax refund has already been paid to many residents by direct debit and councils are working on processing applications for those not on direct debit.
Do you need to apply?
If you qualify for the rebate, you shouldn’t have to apply for it. People who pay council tax by direct debit are expected to receive the money automatically in April, according to the Department for Levelling, Housing and Communities. However, people are advised to set up direct debit in advance to ensure payments can be made as quickly as possible, as reimbursement is likely to take longer for those without one. already.
Payments must be provided directly by billing authorities to eligible households. A single payment of £150 is expected to be made as the council’s basic fee refund per household, regardless of the number of occupants, according to government information.
If you do not pay your council tax by direct debit, the government expects municipalities to make every reasonable effort to contact the household as soon as possible to inform them of the scheme and invite them to make a complaint. All payments, the government’s website says, including those that fall under the reconciliation process, must be made by September 30, 2022. As part of the claims process, councils can choose whether or not to offer credit for £150 to the council tax account of an eligible household. a possibility of payment.
Where can I find more information?
The website of the Department of Upgrading, Housing and Communities is accessible here.