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Support for energy price rises – the council tax rebate

The government recently announced the following measures to help households with rising energy costs.  For full details please see the government’s factsheet.

The schemes which will be administered by the council are listed below.  These are not related to the £200 Energy Bill Discount – for details on that scheme, please contact your energy provider.

Please see below for more information

1. The £150 council tax rebate

The £150 ‘rebate’ is available to most households in England whose primary residence is valued in council tax bands A to D.

If you are not sure whether you house is in council tax bands A-D, you can find this information on your latest council tax bill or on the Valuation Office website.

The government has now issued full eligibility criteria for the scheme. Please note, second homes and empty properties are not eligible for this payment.

Important information about how this ‘rebate’ will be paid – updated 25 May 2022

If your household pays their council tax by direct debit: 

We have already paid the rebate to more than 54,000 homes across South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse, if you haven’t already done so, please check your bank account for the £150 – this may be listed as ‘Bank Giro Credit’.

If your household is on direct debit but you haven’t received the money, or if you are not on direct debit: 

We will now send you a letter asking you to confirm your bank account details via an online form so you can receive the money. 

To have the rebate paid into your bank account you must apply by Monday 13 June.  We can only pay the money to your bank account if you are the person responsible for paying council tax at the property and our checks confirmed that your application is valid.

If you are not able to complete the form online, you will be able to confirm your details by calling a special customer service team who will be in place just to deal with rebate requests – that number will be included in the letter.

Once you have read the letter, please:

Please be aware – our website and phone lines are extremely busy with people applying for the council tax rebate. Please bear with us, our team are working very hard to deal with queries as quickly as possible.

Please only call the contact number on the letter if you have persistent problems with the online form or you are not able to complete the form online. Longer wait times may be experienced over the course of the next few days as the letters are received, but please be rest assured that the application window will not close until 13 June 2022.

When should you expect to receive the money

We are not able to make any payments until after the application period has closed and we have carried out verification checks which may take some time to complete.  We expect to be able to pay everyone who passes the checks by 4 July.

To help ensure we can carry out this work as quickly as possible, please do not contact us to chase therebate’ payment. 

What happens if you don’t receive a letter or reply in time

If you expect to receive a letter but it doesn’t arriveplease double check that your property is council tax bands A-D, you can find it on your latest council tax bill or on the Valuation Office website.

Any household who doesn’t complete the form or who fails to pass the checks at this stage will instead have the £150 taken off their council tax bill at a later date.

Scam warning

Please be aware that we would never cold call you to ask for your personal bank details over the phone. If you receive such a call, hang up and report it.

If you think you have provided personal details to someone, you are advised to call the Police immediately on 101 and report the matter as an identity theft. The Police are also directing people to the Action Fraud helpline on 0300 123 2040.

2. Discretionary fund for households not eligible for the council tax energy rebate.

Some further funding will soon be available to support households on low income who do not qualify for the £150 rebate (those living in properties which are in council tax bands E-H). 

We hope to confirm more information about this discretionary scheme in the coming weeks.

Further information

If you are struggling to pay your council tax bill please visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/counciltax to find out about the support available or call 0345 302 2315.

For advice if you are struggling to pay other bills please visit Citizens Advice website – citizensadvice.org.uk or Vale Community Impact – vci.org.uk/

Notice from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA)

Following the Chancellor’s announcement on 3 February 2022 regarding support for energy bills, the VOA have received an increased number of requests on how to check and review a dwelling’s banding.

If any resident wants to request a review of their council tax band, they will need to explain why they believe their band is incorrect and provide supporting evidence. The VOA has issued guidance for further information.

The VOA also recently published an article for residents setting out the circumstances in which the VOA will undertake a band review and the evidence customers need to provide.