Advice on benefits during the coronavirus pandemic has left housing customers nearly £400,000 better off, despite everyone working from home.
Welfare benefits experts at believe housing have helped customers to access £391, 660 in unclaimed benefits during the coronavirus lockdown.
The County Durham-based housing association has seen a significant increase in the number of customers looking for help as the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is felt on their finances.
believe housing Tenancy Sustainment Manager, Jayne Adamson, said: “The difficult circumstances many people have found themselves in due to the pandemic means that our customers need advice and support more than ever. The fact that we’re all working remotely has thrown up some challenges, but I’m pleased to say that we’ve met them all.”
One customer is more than £35,000 better off after a full benefit check was carried out. It was discovered that the customer was entitled to a severe disability premium but had not made a claim. Their claim was made thanks to a conference call and the backdated benefits have now been paid.
Another received more than £10,000 in backdated severe disability premium payments added to their Employment Support Allowance. A video call allowed the Tenancy Sustainment Team to work with the customer and the Department for Work and Pensions to discuss the unclaimed benefit, which was paid in full within days.
“The customers we’ve helped are overjoyed. Most of them are now much more financially secure in these unprecedented times.” Jayne added. “I’d really urge anyone who has concerns about their benefit claims, or finances in general to get in touch and let us see if we can help.”
believe housing is supporting Homes at the Heart, a campaign and coalition calling on the government to put social homes at the heart of its plan for social and economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The coronavirus crisis is further highlighting the need for secure, high quality, affordable homes and, for many people, support to live in them. Some of the worst affected by the crisis include low-paid key workers living in homes they can’t afford, rough sleepers, homeless families in temporary accommodation, older people in unsupported homes, and families stuck in overcrowded conditions.
Investing in social housing, in all its forms, will help the country recover from this crisis by boosting the economy, creating jobs and improving people’s lives when our nation needs it most. Without action, we are likely to see many people’s housing situations get much worse in the weeks, months and years ahead, as the economic impacts of the crisis are felt across the country.
believe housing has has signed up to the nationally recognised Armed Forces Covenant scheme that ensures veterans and the families of serving forces personnel receive the support they need.
believe housing have attained a bronze award in the scheme already and is now working towards a silver award by further developing the employment offer for services personnel and the positive support into work available.
We are very excited to announce the launch of our new Live Chat facility.
To access the chat facility you need to visit our website www.myharbour.org.uk and click on live chat to speak to one of the team. At the moment this is available Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm.
Outside of these hours you can leave a message for a worker to contact you back during the next working day or you can contact us on 03000 20 25 25 to speak to one of our workers. This phone number is available 24/7. Please contact the police on 999 if you are in danger or should you need immediate help.
We are aware that COVID-19 has left some people struggling financially and loan sharks may look to take advantage of those who have found themselves in a vulnerable position and feel they have nowhere else to turn for help. We are committed to helping victims of illegal money lending and providing support that is immediate, practical and tailored to their needs.
Our specialist team are still here to help 24/7, in the same way we always do. If you are concerned that a client, resident, or service user may be a victim of illegal money lending, you can make a referral to our services here.
Stop Loan Sharks have launched a new live chat service to provide extra advice and support to victims of illegal money lending.
We have helped over 30,000 people escape the clutches of loan sharks and have launched the live chat to make our services even more accessible to those who need them most.
We continue to provide round-the-clock information, advice and support for anyone affected by illegal money lending on our 24-hour helpline 0300 555 2222. You can also report a loan shark using our
confidential online form or email us. The new service will initially be open between 9am and 5pm every Tuesday at www.stoploansharks.co.uk
When you click on the Live Chat icon, you will begin a one-on-one session with an expert support worker from the IMLT.