As the cost of living crisis continues, and energy bills soar, this extra cash could be vital for those families on low incomes who may be feeling the financial squeeze. Households in property bands A to D will get a £150 rebate on this year’s bills via the council tax grant, however some areas could get more money to help with the rising bills.
Even those people who are unable to claim assistance from the £150 discount, can get £40 in support from elsewhere.
It is being provided by the Government’s discretionary fund which has recently been given a £144million boost.
A total of 300 councils have been given a £144million discretionary fund to share.
The Government explains: “In recognition that billing authorities may wish to provide support to households who are not eligible under the terms of the main scheme, councils will receive a share of a £144million discretionary fund.”
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The fund, issued to local authorities, is to help households battling rising prices who are at risk of falling into the poverty bracket as well as those who may fall outside of the A to D scheme.
There is no timeline for when discretionary fund payments should start but local authorities have to spend the money by November 30 2022 or return it to the central Government.
Households in tax bands E to H will be able to receive a £40 boost if they miss out on this rebate.
One of the councils responsible for handing out support from the funding is Hackney Council in London.
Ian Williams, the council’s finance and resources boss, outlined why support is necessary for supporting vulnerable households.
Mr Williams said: “We know that many families in Hackney are struggling with the rising cost of living, and particularly higher energy bills this month.
“Using our discretionary funding in this way will mean that those most at risk from rising bills will get the extra help they need in the simplest way possible.”
Those interested in seeing if they qualify for the extra funding can check their local authority to see if they are eligible.
Eligible residents for the initial £150 council tax rebate should have been notified about their payments by now, and this should appear on their council tax annual statement detailing how much their bill is increasing this year.
Over a dozen councils have also said that payments will start from May.
An estimated 2.8 million households are estimated to be missing out on council tax support worth £2.6billion.
People can apply for a council tax reduction if they’re on a low income are vulnerable or live alone.
Offering advice to those concerned about the cost of living crisis, Uswitch stated: “Look out for your £150 council tax rebate in April, and keep the money somewhere safe so you can put it towards your energy bills.
“People who pay by direct debit will automatically get this rebate paid directly into their account, so it is worth considering setting up a direct debit to receive the rebate quicker.
“Those who pay by other methods will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim.
“If you are in a higher council tax band and not eligible for the rebate, keep an eye out for the discretionary £140million fund being set up to help those who are struggling.”