Thursday, November 16, 2017
Older people in West Lancashire are now more than £1m 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 BT Lancashire Services working on behalf of West Lancashire Borough Council and started in June 2015.
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 them to have a benefit check completed by Lancashire County Council's Welfare Rights Service, and 542 requests were received. This has meant an annual cash gain for claimants of nearly £1.2m.
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 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 £131 each week.
"Staff told me of one case they dealt with which involved an elderly couple who were just trying to manage on their basic pensions. We actually got them an extra £330.30 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 BT Lancashire Services Revenues and Benefits Service, who work on behalf of West Lancashire Borough Council, for their help in making this campaign such a success.
"The Welfare Rights Service has been running various benefit take-up campaigns very successfully for many years now. Now that winter is approaching, and we expect the weather to get colder, 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."
Councillor Claire Cooper, 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.”
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
Tagged as: Benefits and Grants