Saturday, August 21, 2010

Benefits - Senior Citizens Urged to Contact Council

EAST RIDING COUNCIL’s pensioner benefit help team (part of the Benefit and Money Advice Service) is urging senior citizens who pay council tax to contact them. The team provides a home visiting service for customers aged 60 or over to help them claim council tax/housing benefit and other welfare benefits.

The pensioner benefit help team has since 2006 helped over 2,500 pensioners claim more than £5 million in benefits. If you pay council tax and either receive Pension Credit Guaranteed Credit or have savings or investments that are worth less than £16,000, and are resident in East Riding, then you should call the pensioner benefit help team.

Those with savings of more than £16,000 would not qualify for council tax/housing benefit but may still be entitled to Pension Credit or one of a range of benefits and entitlements designed to help older people

£1.8 billion of council tax benefit goes unclaimed each year

In these difficult times, everyone is feeling the strain of rising prices and household bills and the team is urging pensioners to check they are receiving all benefits to which they are entitled. Government estimates suggest nationally that £1.8 billion of council tax benefit goes unclaimed each year. The Commission for Rural Communities has further suggested that a culture of self–reliance tends to exist amongst older people living in more rural communities, resulting in lower take–up of benefits, and delays in seeking the help that they are entitled to.

People can contact the Benefit and Money Advice Service free on telephone 0800 91 50 381. You won’t have any complicated forms to fill in and the team will visit you in your own home.


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