Thursday, February 04, 2016
So far 127 people aged 75 and over in West Lancashire are better off by a total of over £672,000 a year following an ongoing benefit check campaign.
The campaign was organised by Lancashire County Council's Welfare Rights Service in partnership with BT Lancashire Services working on behalf of West Lancashire Borough Council, and the Department for Work and Pensions visiting service.
West Lancashire Borough 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 those over 75's to have a benefit check completed by Welfare Rights and over 500 requests were received.
The campaign has resulted in an annual cash gain for claimants of £672,000 already. Staff are continuing to work through the remaining cases to see if others are entitled to some financial support.
County Councillor Azhar Ali, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "This is great news for some of our older and vulnerable residents in West Lancashire, who have had a welcome boost to their incomes. The people that we have been able to help so far are better off by an average of £90 each week.
"As well as the hardworking staff of our Welfare Rights Service, I'd also like to thank staff at BT Lancashire Services, who work on behalf of West Lancashire Borough Council, and the Department for Work and Pensions for their help in making this campaign such a success. They have visited people at home to explain the process to them and to help them to complete their claim.
"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, it really could make all the difference."
Councillor Terry Aldridge, West Lancashire Borough Council's cabinet member with portfolio for Older People, 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 West Lancashire Borough Council was able to be part of it and that so many people have benefitted from this good work.
“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.”
People wanting a free and confidential benefit check can phone the Welfare Rights Service on 0300 123 6739 or email email@example.com
More information is available at www.lancashire.gov.uk/benefits-and-grants