Welfare experts secure £660,000 for our residents
Housing & Care 21’s expert welfare advisers secured our residents an extra £660,000 in benefits in the 2014-15 financial year.
It takes the total amount generated by the Financial Wellbeing Team since October 2001 to nearly £9million.
We're urging people to make sure they're claiming all of the benefits they are entitled to.
John Robertshaw, Senior Financial Wellbeing Manager, said: “The additional income generated varied from a few pounds a week, to, in some cases, more than £200 a week, which can really make a difference.
“This is all money that the people were entitled to but were not claiming, either because they didn’t know about it, or felt uncomfortable claiming benefits.
“Some residents think of benefits as charity and don’t think it is appropriate that they claim. We need to help them understand that this is support that they are entitled to, perhaps after years of paying taxes.
“Others are just unfamiliar with benefits and don’t understand what they are entitled to, or are put off by the application process. This is why offering advice and support can be so important.”
The key benefits that our residents were found to be missing out on were Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax support.
Official statistics state that around £5.5billion a year in benefits goes unclaimed by older people, with 1.6 million people missing out on Pension Credit entitlement, one in three pensioners missing out on Council Tax support and more than one million people missing out on Housing Benefit entitlement.
The Financial Wellbeing Team ensure that our large team of local Court Managers is able to support residents with the process for application for benefits, and can offer advice on the trickier cases.
“We have never found that all the residents at any of our courts were claiming all the benefits they were entitled to,” added John.
“I would urge all older people to look into what benefits they may be entitled to.”
For more information on benefits and allowances, visit our benefits advice page.