Have you received your emergency energy Council Tax refund yet? Here, RONI MARSH, right, in our monthly advice column from South West London Law Centres, answers the most common questions she is asked about the scheme
In February, the government announced that households in England in Council Tax Bands A to D would get a £150 lump sum to help with the rising cost of energy bills.
Payments of this emergency energy rebate were due to be made through households’ Council Tax accounts from April.
But as Inside Croydon has reported, there are still many eligible households in the borough who have not yet received the payment.
Why hasn’t everyone who’s eligible received the rebate already?
The scheme was introduced very quickly, leaving councils little time to prepare.
As a result, the main group of people who have been paid so far are those who already pay their Council Tax by Direct Debit because local authorities already have their bank details, so should be able to transfer the money directly into their account. I have seen the messages direct debit payers have got by email from their councils and it is a notification saying they will receive the money within the next five working days.
What if I get a call or text message from the council asking for my bank details to make the payment?
The council will never call you and ask you to give them your bank details over the phone or by text. If you are contacted in this way, it is going to be a scam.
You should never give out your bank details by phone or by text.
How can I safely give the council my bank details to make the payment?
If you are a Croydon resident, you will need to set up an account with grantapproval.uk.
You can find more details of this on the council’s website at www.croydon.gov.uk/council-tax-energy-rebate. You can choose whether you want to have the rebate paid into your bank account, receive a Post Office voucher to exchange for cash, or use the rebate to reduce your council tax bill.
How will the Council contact me about this?
If the council does not have any contact information for you such as an email or mobile number, they will have to write you a letter. You could make it easier for the council to contact you by completing an application for an online account. Croydon Council has the MyAccount system where you can link all your different council departments, such as your Council Tax, bins, benefits and rent, and view the information online.
If you are eligible for the rebate, you do not need to wait for the council to contact you before registering with grantapproval.uk.
How long will it be until I get my payment?
The deadline for all payments to be made is August 31. If the council cannot get in touch with any residents as the deadline draws closer, they will add the money to the resident’s Council Tax accounts so it is not lost. You can also choose to wait until September to receive the rebate in this way.
Can I get a payment if I am exempt from paying Council Tax?
If you are exempt from paying full Council Tax due to your property or status or because you get full benefit, then you can still get the rebate.
How can I find out more about what Croydon Council is doing about this?
More information can be found on Croydon Council’s website here.
If the cost of living crisis means you are struggling to make essential payments, you can also contact the money advice team at South West London Law Centres for free impartial advice by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, calling 020 8667 9252.
- Roni Marsh is the money advice team leader at South West London Law Centres
- If you need debt advice you can contact the South West London Law Centres money advice team on 020 8667 9252 or complete their contact form at https://swllc.org/get-advice/debt/debt-advice-checker/
- Visit the Law Centre’s website for the full range of advice and support available
Previous SWLLC advice articles:
- Cost of living crisis – how to claim what you’re entitled to
- Race discrimination at work: giving people a fair hearing
- Sex and sexuality – dealing with workplace discrimination
- Discretionary Housing Payment could help you out of a crisis
- Talking about debt problems is the first step to solving them
- If you have a news story about life in or around Croydon, or want to publicise your residents’ association or business, or if you have a local event to promote, please email us with full details at email@example.com
- Inside Croydon is a member of the Independent Community News Network
- By having a comment section, we provide all readers with an immediate “right of reply” on all our content. Details of how this works can be read by clicking here
- Inside Croydon works together with the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, as well as BBC London News and ITV London
- Inside Croydon: 3.3million page views in 2021. Seen by 1.6million unique visitors in that 12-month period
I just received an e-mail from these incompetent fools otherwise known as Croydon Council below….
“It has been identified that the bank account paying the council tax is being used on more than one council tax account, and only one of these properties can be your main residence. As a result of this, we have been unable to pay the rebate directly into your bank account at this stage”
Err no I do not unless you crooks are removing money from my account to pay someone else’s council tax & I know of this happening to someone in Croydon Borough previously though.
I also tried to set up an account with grantapproval.uk. but alas it refused to accept my password when setting it up EVEN though I followed the instructions on what the password should contain.
I then contacted the e-mail address for these clowns Croyctax@croydon.gov.uk & had the following reply.
“Thank you for contacting the Council Tax Department.
We are experiencing high volumes of customer contact. Due to this, we will respond to your enquiry within 4 weeks”
Are Croydon Council just a bunch of imbeciles or crooks or is their an ulterior motive to get out of paying residents what is rightfully theirs & entitled to?
I got the same email, which is weird because I don’t pay the council tax in our house and definitely don’t have any other council tax account.
Try “firstname.lastname@example.org” email address. The auto-replies range from 5 to 14 days, but of course that’s if they decide or can be bothered to send any emails on to the appropriate department.
Anyone any ideas please? We have received an email to say that our application for the £150 Energy Rebate has been granted. When applying there was no facility to leave the bank details and Croydon Council Tax people don’t have them as we don’t pay Council Tax due to our circumstances. On the Grant Approval notice saying that it has been awarded it states £150 Energy Rebate Council Account – Credit. We’ve phoned them up and they keep saying that there should have been a facility to give the bank details on the application form, there wasn’t. They (Croydon Council) are now saying that we will have to wait 10 to 20 days to see what happens and if nothing call them back. How frustrating. One chap we spoke to earlier said that they might send out a cheque but he wasn’t sure and was only interested in moving forward to his next call.