Managing your finances
We appreciate that for many customers, the current situation will be causing concern and challenges in managing not only personal home and family circumstances but also financial worries. With school closures and daily updates from the government, we are in a constant period of uncertainty which we appreciate is difficult for many people.
If you have any concerns about paying your rent, please do get in touch with us so that we can support you and offer advice based on your circumstances. We will be flexible in considering payment options to ensure that your rent is paid and that this is affordable and reasonable in the circumstances. We have promised that no-one will be evicted because of the coronavirus.
Paying your rent
- I am unable to pay my rent as my partner is self-employed, and we are self-isolating due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
We are sorry to hear that you have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and are here to offer support and advice.
Please contact us as soon as possible so we can assist you in considering what other financial support may be available to you.
We can also discuss a payment plan that is affordable and reasonable to maintain payments on your account through this period.
Yes, you should continue to pay your rent. We appreciate that this is a worrying time for many people with lots of uncertainty and external influences affecting people’s circumstances.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, please do contact us and we will provide support and advice based on your individual situation.
We will not evict anyone who is in arrears as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please contact us if you are struggling to pay your rent so that we can advise and support you based on your individual situation.
There are a number of alternative methods available, payments can be made 24 hours a day via the customer app, via our website or our automated payment line. Alternatively customers can call Progress Connect and set up a direct debit.
Finances and benefits
You can visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits to check what you are entitled to claim. However, our Financial Inclusion Team can support you through this worrying time. We can arrange a convenient time for a telephone appointment.
- I am unable to work temporarily, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, what is the government’s Job Retention Scheme?
For people employed but cannot work due to having to stay home under the government social distancing and isolation rules, for example, who:
• are in the ‘at risk’ group and have been told to isolate for 12 weeks
• cannot work as they have children
• live with someone who is in the ‘at risk’ category
• have an employer whose operations have been severely affected, i.e., temporarily halted such as restaurants, entertainment, retail, etc.
These groups of people can ask to be furloughed through the Job Retention Scheme. They may be able to receive 80% of their earnings. They should be advised to contact their employer to request this. The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme for the employee as of 28 February 2020. It will be up to their employer to claim this.
The scheme was originally set up to cover March – May 2020, to pay 80% of their contracted wage
The scheme has now been extended further as follows:
- To June, July and August to cover 80% of their contracted earnings
- To September to cover 70% of their contracted earnings
- To October to cover 60% of their contracted earnings
- More information can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
Financial Inclusion have been active throughout, and managed appointments primarily by telephone, committing the same amount of time as with home visits.
We have found that we have been able to support many customers as effectively this way.
Going forward we will continue to carry out support and advice by telephone appointments, but will also consider home visits where we assess they are needed.
If you are not in receipt of benefits, please visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits, or telephone Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644.
Anyone already claiming Universal Credit who thinks they may have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), should contact their work coach using their online journal, or calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.
Financial Inclusion can complete a full benefits check based on your current or future circumstances. Everyone’s situation can be different but if your income, health or household situation has changed it is worth completing a benefit calculation, which can also identify entitlement to other sources of support e.g. Free School Meals, help with NHS prescriptions. Warm Home Discount etc.
Most Foodbanks have remained open throughout. Current details of those known
- Churches Together, St Marys Church, Broadfield Drive, Leyland – remains open Monday – Friday 10 – 12. Progress can provide referrals if needed
- New Day Church, Lostock Hall has been operating throughout by referral and delivery. Covers Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Bamber Bridge, Clayton Brook and Leyland
- Wade Hall community, - covering the Leyland area the food bank is open Tuesday and Thursday from 1.30pm-6pm, Progress Housing or the customer can ring on 01772465006
- Fylde Foodbank – by referral from Progress or you can contact Fylde on 01253 658658
- Chorley, Living Waters – open Tuesday and Fridays 10:00am – 2:00pm, by referral,
Link to other food banks and details https://citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk/index.php/food-banks/
Tell your supplier if you can’t get to a shop to top up because you are ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) or following guidance to self-isolate. You will find their contact details on their website or your bill.
They will try to help you find other ways to keep your energy supply connected. For example:
• let someone else top up for you
• add funds to your account
• send you a pre-loaded top-up card
You will need to pay back any credit your supplier gives you - ask them when and how you will need to do this.
If your meter is outside and it is safe for you to get to it, it is a good idea to leave it unlocked. This means someone else could top it up for you.
https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ provides useful information for people who are financially affected by Coronavirus