COUNCILS are working on arrangements to make sure 100,000 households who do not pay their council tax by direct debit get their £150 rebate.

People who pay council tax by direct debit for band A to D homes will get the one-off £150 rebate in their bank accounts.

But those who don't and pay by other means, like cash or cheque, will have to claim the rebate themselves.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities says on its website: "Those who do not pay by direct debit will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim."

And councils are still working to cater for the tens of thousands of households who don't pay by direct debit.

Durham County Council has urged taxpayers to sign up to direct debit and contact them for help if needed, as they "develop a process" to contact non-direct debit households.

Darlington Borough Council has asked people not to contact their customer services about the rebate as they work on the "significant task" of sorting out almost 45,000 rebates and finalise arrangements for non-direct debit households, including an online application.

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The £3 billion council tax rebate, set to benefit 20 million households, will be paid by the Government to help with rising energy and living costs.

There are 84,000 Band A to D households in Durham which do not pay council tax by direct debit - more than a third of 233,000 taxpayers in those bands - and 16,000 in Darlington.

A spokesman for Durham County Council said: "Residents can sign up to a direct debit on our website or by telephoning our customer services team, who will assist customers in completing the forms.

"We would encourage residents who don’t already pay by direct debit to consider setting this up as it will help make sure the rebate is paid quickly.

"It also means they will never have to worry about making or missing payments.

"If people don’t want to set up a direct debit, we will be developing a process to contact these customers in line with the government guidance."

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A spokesman for Darlington Council said: "Payments for eligible households will be arranged between April and September.

"Most council tax payments are made via direct debit, and these residents will receive their rebate automatically.

"Arrangements are being finalised for people who pay by other means, with an online application process being developed.

"Residents are kindly asked not to contact the council’s customer services about their £150 discount at this time."

Councillor Scott Durham, cabinet member for resources, said: “As householders grapple with rising energy prices, the Government’s decision to offer a council tax rebate to eligible households is to be welcomed with open arms.

“In Darlington, we have a Government grant of more than £6.8m to support residents with their energy bills.

Darlington and Stockton Times: Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.

“Our priority is now to arrange for the payments to be made to eligible householders without delay, and work is already underway to make that happen.

“However, with almost 45,000 rebate payments to sort out, including around 16,000 who do not use direct debit, this is a significant task.

“With that in mind, I would urge people to be patient. There is no need to contact the council directly at present. If you are eligible for this discount, we will make sure you get it.”

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