Advice for residents

What support am I eligible for?

Find out what support you might be eligible for at gov.uk/find-coronavirus-support

 

Advice regarding Council Tax

Visit our Help with Council Tax page.

 

Advice for Council tenants on rent

We do not want you to worry about paying your rent and while your rent will continue to be charged, we can talk to you about changing your payment plans if your loss of income has left you struggling to make your rent payments as a result of the outbreak.

We have a team of staff available to provide advice and maximise your income at this time.

Get in touch with the Financial Inclusion Team on 01695 585252 or email incometeam@westlancs.gov.uk to find out more.

 

Advice for parents

Visit - gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare

 

Advice for private tenants, landlords and homeowners

The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus. As a result, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

Please visit the Complete ban on evictions and additional protection for renters (external link) for more information.

Mortgage lenders have also agreed they will support customers that are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of Covid-19, including through payment holidays of up to 3 months. This will give people the necessary time to recover and ensure they do not have to pay a penny towards their mortgage in the interim.

Please visit government website (external link) for more information.

Managing your money

Get help paying the bills during Coronavirus

  • Help you if you’re self-employed and are in self isolation
  • Help from the West Lancs voluntary community

Help is available if you are finding it difficult to pay your bills during the current pandemic. Whether it’s the rent, water or gas bill, or you need help claiming Universal Credit, there is support here to help.

If you need help with:

  • making a claim for housing benefits, council tax support, and discretionary housing payments
  • paying water and fuel bills
  • claiming Universal Credit (UC)
  • paying rent (to private landlords) or a mortgage
  • homelessness issues
  • credit card payments, payday loans, bank charges and bank loans and charges
  • advice on what to do if you’re in self-employment for full time employment and are not currently not working.

Let us know what you need on the West Lancs Together Support Form.  Alternatively, call West Lancs Together on 0800 616667, daily from 9am-5pm.

Please be patient if you can’t get through to the team straight away. We are doing our best to help as many people as possible and will be available to talk to you shortly.

 

Food Bank Update

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in Ormskirk Food bank and Skelmersdale Food bank altering the system for access to emergency food for those who are unable to afford to buy their own. The priority is to ensure the safety of people requiring food and the volunteers working at the warehouse and distribution centre.

Ormskirk Food bank are running a delivery service on Tuesdays and Fridays for clients who are referred to them. Please go to our website here for details of agencies that can make e-referrals or call Ormskirk Food bank on 07748 951274.

Skelmersdale Food bank are running a delivery service on Monday morning, Wednesday morning and Thursday morning for clients who are referred to them. Please go to our website here for details of agencies that can make e-referrals or call Skelmersdale Food bank on 07989052832.

 

Help for people Self-isolating - The Birchwood Centre

"Self-isolation doesn’t have to mean social isolation. We are here to support and help if you are self-isolating or experiencing social isolation due to coronavirus."

The Birchwood Centre will be available to help if you are in need of support, with volunteers on hand to help with things such as picking up medication and essential items, or if you just need someone friendly to talk to. Don't hesitate to get in touch via their contact details below.

Email
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Tel: 01695 713248
Text: 07706 750187

 

Household Waste Recycling Centres

For information visit - Lancashire County Council website (external link).

 

Government Coronavirus Information Service on WhatsApp

Get trustworthy and timely information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19) via Whatsapp for free.

How to access: add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. A set of menu options is then presented which the user can choose from and then be sent relevant guidance from GOV.UK pages as well as links to GOV.UK for further information.

 

Age Concern Central Lancashire - Coronavirus Helpline

Age Concern Central Lancashire, who routinely support older people with long-term health conditions and through specialist dementia care and support, has launched a Coronavirus helpline in order to reach greater numbers of older people.

We are encouraging older people, their carers, businesses, professionals and health workers within the county to make referrals through the Coronavirus helpline - 01772 552 850 option 0 or via their COVID-19 Referral (external link) website during the outbreak.

 

More Positive Together 

West Lancashire Borough Council operates an 1:1 employment mentoring service called More Positive Together - which works in a number a different ways to help people remove barriers to employment through; training, volunteering, education, work experience, employment coaching and building individual confidence.

To qualify you must be a West Lancashire resident and be in receipt of Unemployment Benefit or inactive from the job market. If you would like to find out more please visit the More Positive Together (external link) website, call 01695 712598 or email MPT@westlancs.gov.uk and one of the team will get back to you for a chat.

 

The Royal British Legion - Coronavirus Support

The Royal British Legion are still here for our Armed Forces Community and have adapted their specialist services for COVID-19; their Benefit, Debt, and Money advice service is offering income maximisation support, their Admiral Nurses are providing telephone support across the whole country, and they have also have their telephone buddy volunteers.

They do require some proof of service, such as certificate of service or discharge and eligibility for their support is listed here - https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-support/who-we-help

Anyone who meets the eligibility and may benefit from their support can access it by calling 0808 802 8080

Banking - Coronavirus Telephone Support for 70+

A number of major banks have launched a telephone service dedicated to customers aged 70 or over.
• Bank of Scotland: 0800 0859179. Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
• Halifax: 0800 0859137. Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
• Lloyds Bank: 0800 056 0045. Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
• NatWest: 0800 051 4176. Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.
• Royal Bank of Scotland: 0800 051 4177. Lines open from 8am to 6pm, 7 days a week.

Tax credit payments

The government has confirmed that those working reduced hours due to coronavirus or those being furloughed by their employer will not have their tax credits payments affected if they are still employed or self-employed.

There is no need to contact HMRC about this change. HMRC will treat those applicable as working their normal hours until the Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme close, even if they are not using either scheme.

The announcement: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/tax-credits-customers-will-continue-to-receive-payments-even-if-working-fewer-hours-due-to-covid-19

Support bubble guidance 

As outlined by the Prime Minister in his statement earlier this week, from Saturday 13 June, single adult households will be able to form a “support bubble” with one other household. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published guidance setting out how the public can see people that they do not live with while protecting themselves and others from coronavirus. 

The guidance provides advice on making a support bubble with another household and outlines key principles the public should follow when outside their home. It also provides advice on a range of issues when meeting outdoors.

You can find the full guidance here: https://bit.ly/SupportBubble.

Community FAQs

The Lancashire Resilience Forum and Lancashire County Council have created a helpful Community FAQs. Please visit their our Community FAQs page (external link) for more information.