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Do you have £150 waiting for you?

Ealing residents who live in properties classed as Band A-D for council tax could claim a £150 energy bill rebate to help them with their fuel costs, even if they claim council tax support.

The £150 has already been automatically paid to 47,233 eligible households in Ealing that pay their council tax by Direct Debit. This next stage of the rebate roll-out is aimed at those who pay their council tax another way, but if you are a Direct Debit payer and haven’t received your £150 yet, you are also being encouraged to make a claim.

The rebate is part of a package of measures announced by government. It is a one-off and does not need to be repaid.

It’s easy to claim. You just need to be the named person on your council tax bill, live in a Band A-D property (or in a Band E if you have been awarded a disabled band reduction), and not be living in a HMO (house of multiple occupation). 

Claimants need their latest council tax bill and a recent bank statement. Claims are made via the council’s website. Once the claim is submitted and processed, the rebate will be paid directly into the claimant’s bank account.

Eligible households that do not apply will still receive their rebate in the form of a credit on their 2023/24 council tax bill next April.

Cost of living

Councillor Steve Donnelly, cabinet member for inclusive economy, said: “These are incredibly tough times, and I am sadly aware of many of residents who are desperately struggling with sharp increases in their fuel and food bills. For many, this £150 rebate is vital.

“We have already issued the rebate to Direct Debit payers for whom we hold bank details, but there are thousands of residents who pay their council tax in other ways, and they now need to tell us exactly how we can get this money to them. If you don’t claim, we can’t pay.

“We have a wide range of support in place to help local people with the increase in the cost of living. Take a look on our website and see what help is available to you and your family.”

All claims are based on your living circumstances as of 1 April 2022.

Credit union help

The council is helping to promote a little-known alternative to high-street banks called Hillingdon Credit Union. Despite its name, it serves Ealing residents too and is not-for-profit. It offers a range of simple and affordable financial products including low-cost loans, pre-paid credit cards, and savings accounts.

Last year, it approved 2,200 loans, with monthly interest rates starting from as low as 1% and no early repayment charges. And, unlike most high street banks, it has products especially designed for people with a poor credit rating or who need to borrow just a small amount. This includes single parent families who are unemployed.

More than a million people in the UK are members of credit unions.

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