All taxpayers will soon have been contacted by one council over their £150 council tax rebate.

Darlington Borough Council says it will send out two more batches of letters to non-direct debt customers this month.

The council has answered queries following reports from people still awaiting payments.

It is urging non-direct debit customers not to contact them or use normal council tax online forms for the scheme, but wait until they receive a letter and follow its instructions.

The £3 billion rebate is being paid by the Government to taxpayers in band A to D homes to help with rising energy and living costs.

Those who pay by direct debit were to receive the one-off £150 in their bank accounts, while others have to claim it.

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Darlington Council said 29,495 customers had been paid their rebate - a total of over £4.4m - as of June 15.

A spokesman said: "For council tax bands A to D there are 15,230 rebates to be paid, of which 14,115 are non-direct debit customers."

Asked what the reasons were for any delaying in notifying customers or getting payments to them, the spokesman said: "All payments are being made in accordance with Government guidance and before the deadline of September 30, 2022."

The last letters are to be sent to non-direct debit customers in the next week.

Read more: £150 cost of living council tax rebate still available - who is eligible?

The spokesman said: "Letters for non-direct debit customers asking them to submit their bank details for payment of the rebate have been issued in batches by postcode with the most recent on June 13.

"Two further batches of letters are planned for issue on June 17, 2022 and June 24, 2022, after which everyone will have received contact.

"The process of sending letters to customers began in May 2022.

"The council’s submission webpage is operational and we are gathering bank details.

"Customers will receive an invitation letter which includes security information and instructions for the submission of their bank details.

"Once submitted the details are subject to due-diligence pre-payment checks, in line with Government guidance.

"Upon completion of the checks the payment will be released. We anticipate payment within 14 days after the initial submission.

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"The letters being posted provide advice and contact details for any customers who do not have access to online facilities.

"Computers are available in the customer contact centre at the town hall and there are staff on hand to offer assistance.

"Alternatively when calling the council tax telephone line we have a dedicated energy rebate option which customers can choose, they can speak to an advisor who will complete the online form for them over the phone.

"In both of these situations the customer will need the invitation letter and their bank details available for reference.

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"We would urge customers not to complete the normal council tax online forms which they might use to make an enquiry, request a refund, or tell us of a change in their circumstances, in order to provide their bank details for this scheme.

"They must wait until they receive their invitation letter and follow the instructions carefully.

"We want to reassure customers that we are working hard to get these payments out to them as soon as possible.

"We do appreciate our customers’ patience, but would ask that they avoid contacting us in relation to the payments and to wait until they receive their invitation letter.

"The latest information and updates are available on our website."

The Northern Echo: Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.Cllr Scott Durham. Picture: Darlington Borough Council.

At a council meeting in May, Councillor Scott Durham said 16,000 customers would be receiving letters following "bumps in the road" and "software crashes".

The council spokesman said this week: "Payments to customers are being made and there are no IT issues currently causing delays."


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