£150 council tax rebate: deadline extended until 30 November

The deadline to claim your council tax rebate has been extended until 30 November. Check if you’re eligible and how to get it

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If you missed the original deadline to claim the £150 council tax rebate, there’s still time as government figures show around 300,000 households haven’t claimed it yet.

Most people who pay their council tax bill by direct debit will have received the £150 council tax energy rebate by now, but there remain millions of households who need to act now in order to receive the cash. 

The new deadline, 30 November is when you need to have claimed your council tax rebate to receive the £150, and there won’t be any further extensions. 

Local councils are trying to spread the word before the new deadline:

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The rebate is designed to help those living in properties in the council tax bands A to D with the cost of living crisis and energy bills and is being paid automatically to households who pay their council tax bills by direct debit.

Figures released by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (opens in new tab) show that by the end of July around 16.6 million households within England had received the payments, which accounts for around 86% of those who are eligible.

The then-Levelling Up Secretary Greg Clark said: “We want to make sure that those most in need receive the support that they are entitled to help households with the cost of living. This is why I am urging everyone to check their eligibility to receive the rebate and contact their councils if they have not.”

Homes which are eligible for the payment include those within the A to D council tax bands, or E bands if a householder has a disability. The money is a grant, and therefore does not need to be repaid.

But, there are still concerns that many households which would benefit from the payments are still waiting. We explain exactly how the rebate works and what to do if you are still waiting to claim your £150 council tax energy rebate.

When will I get the £150 council tax rebate?

According to data from a Freedom of Information request from the BBC, local authorities have now paid the £150 rebate to the vast majority of households that pay their council tax through direct debit.

However, there are many households which do not pay their council tax in this way. These households will need to actively claim the money through their council’s website, or look out for a cheque in the post. 

There are concerns that millions of households ‒ particularly those on lower incomes ‒ have not taken the action needed to claim the rebate, and so risk missing out.

Like the £400 energy rebate, the £150 council tax rebate does not need to be paid back.

How do I apply for the cash if I don't pay by direct debit?

If you don't pay your council tax by direct debit, your council will have one of the following systems in place for you:

  • Go to your council's website to apply for the £150 rebate. This way the money is directly paid into your bank account. You may need either a unique code or link sent to you securely in the post. 
  • A cheque in the post
  • A voucher in the post that can be redeemed at the Post Office as long as you take the required ID. The vouchers will have an expiry date of around three months, so get to your local Post Office (opens in new tab) as soon as possible.
  • Some councils have set deadlines to apply which may have passed and may therefore credit your council tax bill

Check your local council's website (opens in new tab) and social media for the latest information.

This TikToker guides you through the steps you need to take on the government website if you don’t pay by direct debit:

@speaktochris (opens in new tab)

♬ Violin - Grooving Gecko (opens in new tab)

If you don’t have internet access go to your local library - libraries often have public computers and internet that you can access for free.

Check on friends and family who are on state benefits or on a low income and may therefore fall into this group of people who are still owed the £150 council tax rebate - they may need help with applying for it.

What happens after 30 November if I don’t apply?

The original deadline to claim the £150 rebate has now gone, but with the number of households that have not claimed yet has resulted in an extension. 

There is still time to claim with the new deadline set to 30 November. If you miss this deadline, there will be no further extensions.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities (opens in new tab) said the £150 council tax rebates must all be paid by 30 September 2022.

The good news is that if you don’t apply by the 30 November deadline - or cash in your Post Office voucher before it expires - then you will not automatically miss out on the money. Instead, it will be paid as a discount from your council tax bill. 

Brent council, for example, has said that it will automatically credit £150 to the council tax accounts of residents who do not pay through direct debit and who did not meet the council’s own deadline of 31 July.

Meanwhile Leeds council has told The Money Edit that households who do not pay by direct debit and who have not been in contact will have £150 credited to their account.

It’s important to bear in mind that there are no rules governing precisely when these payments will be made, however, meaning you may have a lengthy wait before receiving the cash if you don’t act now.

Will I qualify for the £150 council tax rebate?

Around 80% of English households, 73% of Scottish households and 73% of Welsh households will benefit, but it will depend on which council tax bracket you are in. 

Everyone in bands A to D in England, Scotland and Wales will get the rebate because the government is trying to target those most likely to require support.

In Wales, the £150 payment will also be made to households in council tax bands E to H, which are in the council tax reduction scheme. This is unlike in England and Scotland where people who do not pay council tax would not receive the rebate.

You can check your council tax band with your local council or via the government’s postcode checker.  Think you might be in the wrong tax band? Take a look at our article on how to check your council tax band and challenge it.

Who doesn't qualify for the £150 council tax rebate?

If you are in council tax bands E to H in England and Scotland, then you won’t get the rebate unless you are considered vulnerable or on a low income. 

A £144m pot of cash - known as the 'Discretionary Fund' - is being launched through local authorities in England. They can use this to offer 'top-up' payments to vulnerable households in council tax bands A - D. 

The way that this fund is spent will vary depending on the individual council, with no limits in place on how much can be paid to each household.

For example, in Plymouth, households who are receiving council tax support and live in a property within the E to H bands will receive £150, while those with residents who are severely mentally impaired will receive an additional £100. Those who have a single person discount will also receive £100.

Meanwhile Gedling Borough Council will pay an extra £23 to households who are in bands A to D that are receiving council tax support (giving a total rebate of £173), as well as making £173 payments to those households receiving council tax support in properties with a band higher than D.

It’s a good idea to contact your local authority to find out about the extra financial support on offer if you are classed as being vulnerable or on a low income.

Anyone with a second property with council tax bands A to D will not qualify, and the council tax rebate is not payable on empty properties.

For renters who do not pay council tax as part of their contract with the landlord, then the rebate may not be paid directly to you. 

If you are renting and do not pay council tax as part of your arrangement, then you may not get the rebate paid to you. The government has said that if a landlord pays council tax on behalf of the tenants, it is the tenants rather than the landlord that should receive the rebate, though it is up to individual councils to ensure the money is paid correctly.

Importantly, the rebate will not be available on a house in multiple occupation (HMO), as the landlord is liable for council tax.

What other help is available?

Given the cost of living crisis, that £150 alone is not going to make a huge difference to many households. As a result, there have been other measures introduced, including a £400 energy grant, £150 payment for individuals on disability benefits and £650 for those on low income or mean-tested benefits

When it comes to council tax, it’s useful to understand that some households can already qualify for a discount to their bill, potentially removing the payments entirely. See our guide to how to get a council tax reduction.

For example single people receive 25% off their bill while students and some pension credit claimants pay no council tax at all. Those on low incomes or who are receiving benefits can also qualify for a reduction, for example if there is a live-in carer who looks after someone with a disability.

However, the rules will vary depending on your local council.

If the priority is dealing with those higher energy bills, the government is also increasing the number of households who can apply for the warm homes discount, which is worth £150 from October. In Scotland, an additional pot of £10m will also be made available to those struggling to pay their fuel bills via the Fuel Insecurity Fund.

You can try and cut energy consumption around the house. For example switching from an oven to the air fryer, only boiling the water you need in a kettle, taking shorter showers and checking which type of heating is cheapest to run

Depending on your energy provider, you might also be paid to use less energy at peak times between now and 31 March 2023. Find out if your energy provider is taking part and how much you could be paid.

You may also be Interested in: The Wallace family have cut their energy consumption by 30% with targeted heating, dehumidifiers, logs and a new laundry technique while Emily Brookes has cut her £400-a-month energy bill to £235 and is installing a heat pump.

Lastly, to make quick and easy cash to help with energy bills, you could switch current accounts as two banks are now offering a whopping £200 switch incentive.

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John Fitzsimons
Contributing editor

John Fitzsimons has been writing about finance since 2007, and is a former editor of Mortgage Solutions and loveMONEY. Since going freelance in 2016 he has written for publications including The Sunday Times, The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Mail and Forbes, and is committed to helping readers make more informed decisions about their money.

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