Older people in Pendle are now almost £218k a year better off thanks to a campaign to ensure they are claiming the benefits that they are entitled to.
The campaign was organised by Lancashire County Council’s Welfare Rights Service in partnership with Pendle Council.
Pendle Council contacted over-75s in their area who were receiving either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. A letter was sent out by the borough council to invite them to have a benefit check completed by Lancashire County Council’s Welfare Rights Service, and 237 requests were received. This has meant an annual cash gain for claimants of £217,821.80.
County Councillor Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is great news for some of our older and vulnerable residents in Pendle.
“They have received a welcome boost to their incomes. In reality the people that we have been able to help so far are better off by an average of £99 each week.
“Staff told me of one household they dealt where the residents weren’t claiming the benefits they were entitled to, and who were just trying to manage on their basic pensions. We actually got them an extra £411.83 per week in benefits, which will clearly make a big difference to them.
“As well as the hardworking staff of our Welfare Rights Service, I’d also like to thank staff at Pendle Council, for their help in making this campaign such a success for the benefit of some of our older residents. It’s nice to see both councils working successfully together for the benefit of our community.
“The Welfare Rights Service has been running various benefit take-up campaigns very successfully for many years now. I would urge pensioners to get in touch and ask for a free and confidential benefits check.
“As we have seen with this campaign and with others, the extra money really could make all the difference. We hope that more people come forward to claim the benefits that they are entitled to have.”
Councillor Mohammed Iqbal, Leader of Pendle Council, said: “It is important that all people claim the benefits they are entitled to and this was a very good campaign. I am glad that we were able to be part of it and that so many people have benefitted from this good work.
“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.
“I would urge pensioners to get in contact with the Welfare Rights Service and have their free confidential benefits check as they could be a lot better off.”
Anyone who would like a free and confidential benefit check can call the Welfare Rights Service on 0300 123 6739 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
More information is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants