Lancashire County Council’s Welfare Rights Service is reminding older people to make sure that they receive the benefits which they are entitled to.
Many older people, particularly those over 75, aren’t claiming benefits such as Pension Credit, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support.
Although eligible to have a benefit check completed by the Welfare Rights Service, a lot of residents are reluctant to ask for help, or to discuss their finances.
Over the last 12 months the Welfare Rights Service has helped older residents to claim nearly £1.1 million of benefits that they are entitled to receive.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “Our Welfare Rights Service provides free and confidential help and advice with benefit problems for Lancashire residents.
“We are dealing with some of our most vulnerable people, unfortunately many have no idea what financial support they are entitled to, or have ever claimed a benefit before.
“Sometimes people feel uncomfortable about asking for help, but we would ask anyone who thinks they could be entitled to contact us.
“I would urge pensioners to get in touch and ask for a free and confidential benefits check, to find out what they are entitled to receive.
“It is rewarding to be able to help so many people and see the difference the extra money in their pockets makes to their lives. In some cases a few extra pounds a week can make a very big difference to someone on a tight budget.”
The Welfare Rights Service regularly works with district councils, the Pension Service and the Department for Work and Pensions to check the entitlements of Lancashire residents. This means millions of pounds of extra benefits are secured by local people and the local economy.
Anyone over pension age who would like a free and confidential benefit check can phone the Welfare Rights Pensioners Advice Line on 01772 533321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is available about benefits available to older people at www.lancashire.gov.uk/health-and-social-care/benefits-and-financial-help/benefits-for-people-who-are-state-pension-age.