West Suffolk Council has announced a second phase to its scheme, targeting support to residents who weren’t eligible for the Government’s Council Tax Rebate Grant.
Under the scheme, households in Council Tax band A-D households received £150 to help towards increased costs on their energy bills.
West Suffolk Council working with Anglia Revenues Partnership has already administered this scheme with more than £9 million of the grant paid to over 62,000 eligible households.
The council is now using part of the £270,300 money from the government over which it holds discretion, to target support to people who are likely to be on low income or vulnerable and haven’t previously been eligible under the main government scheme.
This includes people who have been in care and placed in accommodation by a local authority since April 2022 and people who were homeless and placed in accommodation by the council’s housing team since April 2022. In both cases they need to be responsible for paying energy bills in their new home to meet the grant criteria.
Grants are also available for residents living in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and people in other accommodation where the landlord pays the Council Tax, but the residents pay the energy bills. Those households must have been at their address on April 1 this year to be eligible. Households in Council Tax bands E-H who were at their address on April 1 this year, can also apply for a grant under exceptional hardship.
The scheme will run either until the money has run out or the end of October after which, if there is any money remaining, a decision will be made on how it should be allocated to support residents ahead of the winter.
Residents in registered HMOs, and those who were in care and moved into a new tenancy allocated by the local authority, and those who were in or temporary accommodation and moved into new tenancy allocated by West Suffolk Council, will receive a letter from the council and Anglia Revenues Partnership. But they don’t need to wait for this to apply. Simply visit https://www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/counciltax/phase-2-discretionary-ct-rebate-grant.cfm check the eligibility criteria and apply.
The scheme is the second discretionary fund launched by West Suffolk Council. Earlier this month its announced grants of £150 to households in:
- The Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, Council Tax bands E-H;
- The Severe Mental Impairment exemption scheme, Council Tax bands E-H;
- The Disabled Band Reduction scheme, Council Tax bands F-H (Note band E households will have been eligible for the £150 under the main Government scheme which has now been fully paid out).
In addition, the council is also paying out a £20 top up to all households (Council Tax bands A-H) that are in the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This will be paid in the same way that the households have been paid, or are due to receive, the £150 grant.
To date, the council has paid out over £190,000 under this discretionary scheme to around 8,750 West Suffolk households. Anglia Revenues Partnership has written to the 107 eligible households who are not on direct debit, inviting them to complete a form and to call their helpline on 01842 756456 if they have any concerns or need assistance. The deadline for them to complete the form is 31 July.
Those who complete both the form and the required pre-payment checks should receive their money around August 10 while those who don’t will have the money reduced from their Council Tax bill again in early August.
Anglia Revenues Partnership will then make repeat efforts to contact those who are subsequently in credit on their Council Tax bill, to get the money paid to them. This offers the quickest way of ensuring that the money gets to eligible residents ahead of the winter.
There’s more information on our webpage at www.westsuffolk.gov.uk/counciltax/council-tax-rebate-grant.cfm