This is how Lancashire families sent faulty Covid support vouchers can cash them in
An apology has been issued to vulnerable Lancashire families who were sent Covid support vouchers that could not be redeemed - along with advice about how they can claim what they are owed.
Eligible households across the county received the defective tokens over the Easter weekend as part of the Covid Winter Grant Scheme, a government-funded programme under which local authorities have been able to make discretionary payments to those in need of support during the darkest months of the pandemic.
The payouts were designed to support those most in need with the cost of food, utility bills and essential household goods.
However, some recipients found that what should have been 16-digit codes to allow the vouchers to be registered online were a number short. Even residents who had been sent full-length codes found that they did not work.
One mum from Morecambe described it as being like having £80 “dangled” in front of her - only for it to be taken away.
Lancashire County Council says it is investigating how the problem occurred and urged people who had experienced difficulties to get in touch.
A spokesperson for the authority said: “We are so sorry this has happened. It isn't acceptable that people who have been promised these vouchers have then been unable to access them - and we want to fix it as quickly as possible.
“We want to be clear – this should not have happened, and we apologise again for letting you down.”
Anybody having problems with the vouchers is being asked to email [email protected] with their name, full address, voucher number and letter reference (beginning CWG). They will then be sent a new code to allow them to download their voucher, which will be eligible to be used until 29th June.
A spokesperson for Edenred, the private company supplying the vouchers to the county council, said: ““We’re really sorry to hear some parents had issues redeeming their voucher codes this weekend. This was caused by an error when the council distributed the codes over the Easter holiday. We are working with the council to ensure the codes are re-sent as soon as possible.”