Tuesday, 10 February 2015
£311,000pa in unclaimed benefits found for local over-75s by Welfare Rights campaign
The campaign was organised by Lancashire County Council's Welfare Rights Service in partnership with Lancaster City Council.
The city council used their records to identify over-75s in their area and then sent out a letter inviting people to apply for a free and confidential benefits check.
Of the 580 people who responded, so far more than 250 - almost half - have been found to be missing out on money they are entitled to.
With the help of welfare rights officers, those households who have already been assessed have secured an average of an extra £55 per week each. For elderly people facing steep fuel bills it will make a real difference.
Free and confidential checks available
And as staff are continuing to work through the requests, many more people could find themselves better off as a result of the campaign. Councillor Abbot Bryning, Lancaster City Council's cabinet member with responsibility for benefits, is hoping that that more people will come forward for the free and confidential benefits check.
He said said: “Working in partnership with Lancashire County Council has enabled both authorities to encourage some of the district’s most financially vulnerable people to claim the benefits they are entitled to."
County Councillor Azhar Ali, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "This is great news for older people in Lancaster, who have seen a welcome boost to their incomes.
"As well as the hardworking staff of our Welfare Rights Service, I'd also like to thank our partners at Lancaster City Council for their help in making this campaign such a success.
"The Welfare Rights Service has been running these campaigns very effectively for many years now, and I would urge pensioners to get in touch and ask for a free and confidential benefits check.
"As we have seen in the Lancaster campaign and elsewhere, it really could make all the difference."
People wanting a free and confidential benefit check can phone the Welfare Rights Service on 0300 123 6739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.