Households could be waiting up to four months to receive their £150 council tax rebate, as some may not be paid until September.
Councils started distributing the payments in April, but families are facing a postcode lottery as to whether they have received it or not.
When will the council tax rebate be paid?
The government has said all rebates must be paid by 30 September, but some local authorities have said they are struggling to administer the rebates at short notice.
Around 80% of households in England and Wales are eligible to receive the money to help with the rising cost of living.
Councils began paying the £150 rebates from April, when the energy price cap went up by £693 for the average household, leaving many struggling to afford their monthly bills.
Many households who pay by direct debit have already started receiving the rebate, and those who do not pay by this method will be contacted by their council to provide details so the payment can be issued.
Charity National Energy Action warned the poorest households are among hardest hit and those who do not pay council tax by direct debit are likely to face a longer wait for the rebate, with some councils yet to publish information on how to apply.
Harrow Council was supposed to start issuing payments on 13 May, but was forced to apologise for the delay over a “technical error”.
In an update on Monday (16 May), the council said: “Due to a technical error, we apologise for the delay in issuing payments to eligible taxpayers.
“We are now testing a software that will enable us to pay the £150 energy rebate as soon as possible.”
Residents in St Helens also faced delays as the council pushed back the launch date several times due to tech upgrades, while South Derbyshire District Council experienced delays in processing the rebates and is currently “testing the software” that will pay the £150 rebate.
In a notice on its website, the council said: “If the testing goes well, we hope to make the payment to direct debit payers in June 2022.”
Dartford Borough Council has also said payments may take until September to arrive in accounts, depending on when residents made a council tax payment.
The council said: “We hold your bank details so we can pay the money directly into your bank account.
“We will transfer the money from May 2022, but you may have to wait until September.”
Who is eligible for the council tax rebate?
The council tax rebate will provide a payment of £150 to households living in council tax bands A to D in England and Wales, which is around 80% of properties.
Payments will be made from April 2022 and will not need to be paid back.
You can check which council tax band your property is in via the government website.
Scotland residents will also be entitled to £150 off if they are in bands A to D, with councils able to either issue the rebate as a cash payment or as credit off future council tax bills.
How do I apply for the rebate?
If you live in an eligible property and you pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will make the payment directly to your bank account, starting from April 2022.
If you live in an eligible property and you do not pay your council tax by direct debit, your local council will contact you from April to arrange a method for paying the rebate.
Claims for the rebate can be processed up until 30 September 2022.
The rebate will be provided as a separate payment, rather than as part of your council tax bill.