Cheshire East Council is set to make nearly 130,000 council tax energy rebate payments having been allocated £19.2m from the government.
The council is setting up two schemes for the £150 rebate:
‚óŹ Scheme one – for households in council tax bands A to D (with some exceptions, such as empty properties). This includes properties that are valued in band E that qualify for the disabled band reduction scheme; and
‚óŹ Scheme two – a discretionary scheme aimed at households in council tax bands E to H, where the taxpayer is in receipt of council tax support or income related benefits.
The council recommends residents sign-up to pay their council tax by direct debit, where possible. Through this payment method, they are likely to receive the rebate sooner.
It also suggests that households in council tax bands E to H, consider reviewing if they are eligible for income support benefits and council tax support – especially if your circumstances have changed. You can check if you are eligible for a reduction in council tax by visiting the council tax section on Cheshire East Council's website and selecting 'council tax support for low-income families'.
Councillor Amanda Stott, chair of Cheshire East Council's finance sub-committee, said: "Our staff are working really hard to process these rebates and are setting up two schemes to help residents as quickly as they can.
"The distribution of our allocation from government is not simple. There are complexities with the government guidance, as well as with the number of payments needing to be made in Cheshire East.
"Where we hold direct debit details for residents, we will be sending the £150 rebate straight into bank accounts. We are, therefore, encouraging any residents who can, to sign up for a direct debit as the quickest and easiest way to pay council tax and receive the energy rebate."
Direct debits can be set up by visiting www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/counciltax and selecting 'pay council tax'. Residents should be aware that it takes at least 14 days for a direct debit to be set up and rebate payments will be made after the first direct debit has been collected.
Residents who are unable to pay by direct debit, or don't need to as they receive 100 per cent reductions to their bills, will need to provide the council with evidence of their bank account details, if they believe they qualify for either scheme. An online form will be published onto the council's website in early May 2022.
Once the form is ready, it will be available at www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/counciltax under 'council tax energy rebate £150'. A full list of eligibility criteria can also be found on this page.
The council is also asking that qualifying residents do not duplicate applying for the rebate, by signing up for a direct debit and filling out the online form, as this could create delays in the payment.
Residents who are direct debit customers and believe they are eligible for schemes one or two, will not need to take any action. However, those direct debit customers whose bank details do not match the name on their council tax bill, will be invited to fill in the online form.
The council anticipates the first rebate payments will start to be issued in April 2022, with more rebates being issued into the summer.