© South Ribble Borough Council 2019

 

South Ribble Together - Frequently Asked Questions

Disruption to Income

For households whose income has been impacted by coronavirus; in most cases a claim will need to be made for Universal Credit.

The first payment following a claim will normally be made five weeks following a claim however, advance payments can be made for those who will struggle during this time.

Claims for Universal Credit are done online. Click here to apply.

For those whose income has dropped as a result of becoming sick then the four-day waiting period to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) has been removed.

SSP will be also payable for those staying at home on government advice who are not symptomatic, not just those who are sick.

Click here for further information about claiming benefits as a result of coronavirus.

 

Prepay Meters

If you are on a prepay meter and are cannot afford to pay for electricity or gas, or are self-isolating phone the relevant company if you have a prepay meter tell them your self-isolating and they will send you out 2 week’s worth of gas / electricity or if you have a smart meter they will top you up.

British Gas 0333 202 9802

EDF 0333 200 5100

EON 0345 052 000

N Power 0800 073 3000

Scottish Power 0800 027 0072

SSE 0345 026 2658

 

Council Tax

We understand that this is tough time for all of us and we know that some people may be struggling with their Council Tax payments.

If you are struggling, there are options available:

  1. You can call our team at Gateway on 01772 625 625 to discuss your payments or to look at a re-structure of your current payment plan
  2. You can apply for the Council Tax Support if you are eligible by visiting www.southribble.gov.uk/myaccount
  3. You can apply for Universal Credit by visiting https://www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit and in turn apply for the Council Tax Support scheme

Our team are here to help you, so please give us a call.

 

Homelessness

The Council will continue to provide assistance to those who are homeless, or are threatened with homelessness.

The Housing Needs team can be contacted through the main contact number of 01772 625625, or housing@southribble.gov.uk

The out of hours number for emergencies is 01772 436756

Appointments will be conducted via telephone while the offices at West Paddock remain closed.

 

For reports of rough sleeping these can be done via contacting the Council in the usual way, or alternatively through Streetlink. – www.streetlink.org.uk

This is a national scheme whereby information is passed on to Councils so that they can engage with those Identified as rough sleeping.

 

Rented Accommodation

Where income has been disrupted as a result of coronavirus then Housing Costs in the rented sector can be met as part of a Universal Credit claim (see above).

In the private sector, the maximum that can be claimed is based on the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) for the bedroom requirement of your household.

Where there is a shortfall between this and your rent, the Council has additional funding through Discretionary Housing Payments (DHP) which may be available.

 

Local Housing Allowance Rates

There have been announcements by Government that no new possession cases will be brought for three months, meaning that the risk of eviction has been removed. However, households will still be liable for their rent, and so it is important that where possible rent gets paid.

Should you be in a position where you may struggle to pay your rent it is important to speak to your landlord so that they understand the situation and the steps being taken to meet the rent costs.

 

Owner Occupiers

For households with mortgages, the Government has worked with lenders to agree that those impacted by coronavirus can have up to a three-month mortgage payment holiday.

These payments will have to be made up following this, and interest will be charged on these amounts. Please contact your lender to discuss any difficulties with making payments.

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) is available for those households who have been on a qualifying benefit for a period of 39 weeks.

This takes the form of a payment to cover interest payments due on the mortgage, and is repayable.

 

Private Landlords

It has been announced that the three-month mortgage payment holiday has been extended to buy to let mortgages. As above, please contact your lender to discuss this.

Should your tenant be in a position where they are struggling to meet their rent, please signpost them to the above advice with assistance to meeting their rent, to minimise the impact.

 

Domestic Abuse

With self-isolation, school closures, and general uncertainty at the current time there is an increased risk of Domestic Abuse incidents occurring, or existing situations worsening. Support is still available for those looking to discuss their situation or are looking to flee an abusive relationship.

Should you feel in immediate danger then always call 999.

Support can also be found at:

 

Concerns for a neighbour - I’ve heard fighting going on at my next-door neighbour’s house. What can I do to stop it happening?

This can be a difficult problem as, being a neighbour, you don’t necessarily know the people very well and you don’t know exactly what’s happening.

However, if you hear an incident and think that a neighbour is in danger, or any children they may have, then we would suggest contacting the police.

The police have a responsibility to respond and to undertake a risk assessment where there is domestic abuse taking place.

If there are children in the house and you are concerned for a parent's safety you could consider contacting social services. They would be able to work with the parent to help their protect her children from harm.

If possible, you could mention to your neighbour that you’ve overheard some fighting and that you’re worried about a person. You can then encourage them to seek some help. There will be options available to help them put a stop to what’s going on.

 

Safeguarding 

Concerns about a child

If you are concerned about the welfare of a child, please contact Lancashire County Council Children's Services.

Concerns about an adult

If you are concerned about the welfare of an dult, please contat Lancashire County Council Adult Social Care.

 

Support for young people

Inspire Youth Zone

Crisis text line for young people – 07984 357 293

Number is manned by experienced youth workers. Open 10am-9pm.

Outside of hours contact Young Minds: Text YM to 85258

Inspire Chorley Youth Zone, is a community charity investing in thousands of young people across Chorley and surrounding areas. Their purpose-built facility for the borough’s young people aged 8 – 19, and up to 25 for those with disabilities provides a fun, safe and inspirational environment for many of our communities’ young people and for some, a critical lifeline.

As part of their Covid-19 response in partnership with Chorley Council / South Ribble Council, the charity has set up a number of support resources and extended these for ALL young people across Chorley and South Ribble including:

  • Crisis text line manned by experienced youth workers – 07584 357 293
  • A range of daily virtual activities for young people (and adults!) to enjoy at home including quizzes, games, debates and keep fit sessions

Visit www.inspireyouthzone.org or www.youngminds.org.uk for further support.

 

Business support

Business support can be found here or at www.businessinsouthribble.com

Any questions should be directed to info@businessinsouthribble.com.