People in Swansea who have phoned a free advice line to check whether they are missing out on benefits they are entitled to have received an additional £50,000 in backdated payments between them so far.
Earlier this year Swansea and Neath Port Talbot Councils together with partner organisations launched the 0800 112 4763 free phone number to support people over the age of 66 who may be missing out Pension Credit.
So far this helpline has assisted people successfully claim 113 different benefits with many people receiving more than one benefit. This has generated a weekly increase in income of £5,050.10 which is an average of £44.69 per claim.
But many more people in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot are still missing out as government figures show two in every five people who qualify for the benefit do not claim it.
Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Supporting Communities, Alyson Pugh, said: “As we head into the winter the cost of living is rising and it has been widely reported in recent days the energy prices are set to increase dramatically.
“We know that there are pensioners in Swansea who are already struggling to make ends meet and I would urge them to give this helpline a call to check if they are missing out on money that they are entitled to.
“We also know that each additional £1 people receive is worth £4 to the local economy so by claiming benefits that they are entitled to, they help support local jobs and local businesses and we desperately need this, especially now.
“Entitlement to Pension Credit also accesses claimants to fringe benefits including help with travel costs to hospital and NHS charges, access to a free TV licence, discretionary assistance payments to assist with purchasing one off items and they are automatically passported through the financial means test for housing benefit and council tax reduction.
“This is vital help that people are entitled to so I would urge anyone who thinks they may be eligible to call the helpline where they will receive friendly and informative advice and assistance.”
Cllr Pugh added: “I’m very proud that our Welfare Rights Team is working so closely with our partners to highlight this and I would like to thank all organisations involved in this campaign.”