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.

If you are currently not in receipt of any benefits, then you can call the UC helpline on 08003 285644 or go to GOV UK or can contact Citizens Advice Help to Claim UC service on 0800 1448 444.

DWP coronavirus guidance can also be found at their website.

Paying your rent

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.



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:


This was initially set up to mirror the Job Retention Scheme.  If you are self-employed and your income is at least 50% of your household income you may be entitled a grant. There are two grant payments that a self-employed worker may be entitled to.


  • The first taxable payment - that covers the months of March, April and May - has should already have been paid to those entitled in May. Payments were made between 13th and 25th May. It was worth 80% of their average monthly profits over the last three years up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.


  • The second payment - due in August - will cover the three months of June, July and August. It will be worth 70% of their average monthly profits over the last three years up to a maximum of £2,190 a month.



For both the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme you can still apply for Universal Credit.

People receiving benefits do not have to attend jobcentre appointments for three months, starting from Thursday 19 March 2020.

People will continue to receive their benefits as normal, but all requirements to attend the jobcentre in person are suspended.

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.

If you are an existing Universal Credit claimant you will be paid as normal, you do not need to contact us. Our online service is working as normal and everything you need should be available in your account.

Although staff are working on our Universal Credit telephone lines as normal, we are exceptionally busy. You do not need to call us unless you are not able to use your online account. It is important that our telephone lines are available for our most vulnerable customers, using your online account as much as possible will help protect this service.
People can still make applications for benefits online if they are eligible. Read more about making a new claim.

If you’re already claiming Universal Credit and think you may have been affected by coronavirus, please contact your work coach as soon as possible. You should do this using your online journal.

Universal Credit and tax credits were increased by £20 a week for one year from 6 April 2020.

If your income drops you may see an increase in your Universal Credit payments


Marys community food bank - Broadfield drive

Monday  – Thursday 10am – 12pm

Referral needed for new customers. Referral form to be sent to  administratorstmarysleyland@btconnect.com

Wade hall community association

01772465006 Food bank still open.

Tenants to call 01772 465006 and foodbank will make arrangements with the tenant to collect items

Lostock Hall and Penwortham - awaiting confirmation

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


Useful links