Who can get the council tax rebate? Eligibility explained

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Martin Lewis explains how the council tax rebate works

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The cost of living crisis is now in full swing as energy bills catapult, tax rises begin and inflation continues to run rampant. Limited support is being offered by the Government, including a £150 council tax rebate for certain British households – but now one major think tank has warned plenty will not feel the benefit.

Research conducted by the think tank Resolution Foundation has highlighted that low-income families will be the most adversely affected by the crisis, but many will be unable to access vital support to mitigate the impact.

The council tax rebate is designed to give a small break to those living in typically lower-value homes, that are generally occupied by people on lower incomes.

But a looked-over element of the scheme will see those with low incomes living in lower council tax bands ineligible for support.

For example, one-fifth of the poorest households in London are in bands E to H so will not receive the £150 discount.

READ MORE: Council tax warning: Millions to miss out on rebate worth £150

After the energy price cap was introduced on April 1, Jonathan Marshall, the senior economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “Today’s energy price cap rise will see the number of households experiencing fuel stress double to five million.

“With the price cap expected to rise sharply again on October 1, a further 2.5 million households could fall into fuel stress this autumn, unless more support is provided.

“There are no easy ways to protect people from rising bills in the current climate. But with many of the poorest households missing out on the Council Tax rebate, this scheme should be used to supplement, rather than replace, support via the benefit system, which is better equipped to target lower-income families.

“Another increase in energy bills this autumn hastens the need for more immediate support, as well as a clear, long-term strategy for improving home insulation, ramping up renewable and nuclear electricity generation, and reforming energy markets so that families’ energy bills are less dependent on global gas prices.”

Who is eligible?

The council tax rebate will apply to homes in council tax bands A, B, C or D in England and Wales.

In Scotland, a near-identical scheme is running, with the addition of anyone getting a council tax reduction in any band also eligible.

The money does not need to be paid back; it is simply a backdated one-off repayment.

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How will I get my rebate?

Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis explained: “If you pay your council tax by direct debit, then you will get the money automatically paid into your bank, it’s really simple.

“If you don’t pay by direct debit, then the council will get in contact with you to tell you how to claim the cash.

“If you don’t do that then they will give it to you as an energy rebate. Those are the three systems.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities said: “Direct debit is the quickest and easiest way to pay council tax, and the best way for most people to get the rebate.

“Eligible households who don’t pay their council tax by direct debit will be invited to make a claim.

“Councils will be reimbursed for their administration costs.”

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