No direct debit sees woman, 97, without council tax rebate

'I can’t find out how I will get the £150 they’re talking about'

Monday, 30th May — By Harry Taylor

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A 97-year-old woman said that she has been unable to get her £150 council tax rebate from Camden Council because she does not have a direct debit, writes Harry Taylor.

Joan Wilson, a retired departmental secretary at the London School of Economics, said she doesn’t have a direct debit as she prefers to keep hold of her money and pay for services as bills arise.

However, this means she hasn’t had the automatic £150 payment from the Town Hall, funded by the government to help tackle rising energy costs.

Direct debit payers had their refunds paid into their bank accounts last month, with council officials saying more than £5.9m has been paid out so far.

She said: “It’s not fair and there does not seem to be any information sent out about it. I’ve always paid, and always on time, but it seems I can’t find out how I will get the £150 they’re talking about.”

Ms Wilson has mobility problems and heart failure, but says that she has friends without whom she wouldn’t be able to get by.

“I live on the Finchley Road and without them I would be stuck. I can walk a bit but it tires me out so much.”

A Camden spokesperson said that people not on direct debits and who get council tax support should have been sent a letter, with a code to take to the Post Office to get the money. Others need to apply through a council system online, or by calling 020 7974 4444 to speak to council tax officials.

People must apply before August 1 to get the money paid, otherwise it will get credited to their council tax account if they are eligible.

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