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Here to help with benefits

Here to help with benefits

For Lucy Marshall, it was an unexpected but very welcome phone call from Together Housing that led her to getting the benefits help she needed.

Lucy, 55, lives in Earby, Lancashire, and has been a Together Housing resident for around 15 years. Like many people across the country, Lucy lost her job in hospitality at the start of the coronavirus lockdown. As she was self-employed, she couldn’t be furloughed or claim from any of the Government’s income support schemes. It was a very worrying time for Lucy.

“I was scared and didn’t know what to do,” said Lucy, “I felt down and depressed. But then out of the blue, in early April right at the start of the crisis, I got this wonderful phone call from Deborah at Together Housing.”

The caller was Lucy’s Income Officer, Deborah Close, and it was one of over 13,000 phone calls Together Housing’s Income Team made to residents in the first month of the crisis to check residents were managing financially.

“Deborah was amazing,” continued Lucy. “When she phoned, she asked if I was alright, and I replied no, not really! Deborah was so friendly, and I could tell she genuinely cared. She took time to listen to me and encouraged me to apply for Universal Credit, which I’ve only done once before. I wouldn’t have applied if it wasn’t for Deborah.”

A few days later, Lucy had another call, this time from Together Housing’s Benefits Team who talked her through her benefit entitlements. 

“It was easier to apply for than I expected, and I usually find doing things like this difficult,” said Lucy. “Getting Universal Credit was a big relief. It’s easy to leave messages on my online journal. I’ve continued working one day a week in a care job throughout the crisis and Universal Credit tops up my earnings.”

Lucy is now in a better situation and is looking forward to getting back into full time work when the crisis allows. She recommends that other residents in similar difficulties should get in touch with Together Housing. Lucy says that one phone call helped her survive: “Together Housing has been unbelievably supportive in this frightening time. Your support must have saved many lives. Thank you so much. If Deborah hadn’t phoned, I don’t know what I would have done.”

Like many residents, Lucy didn’t know Together Housing has a team of friendly, expert advisors available to provide support with benefit claims. If you are struggling to pay your rent as a result of the coronavirus crisis or whatever the cause, contact us as soon as possible. We’re here to help.

For benefits advice, text Benefits Help to 66099 and one of our advisors will call you back. For other queries to do with paying your rent, text Rent Help to 66099. Or phone our Customer Service Centre on 0300 555 5560.

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