A welfare team has been praised for helping tenants claim £2m in benefits and grants.
Financial advice from Derwentside Homes’ Welfare Rights Team has helped tenants access more than £2m in unclaimed benefits and grants.
Residents struggling to cope with changes to the welfare system, including the introduction of the bedroom tax, have been getting advice and support from Derwentside Homes’ Welfare Rights Team, set up in 2011.
Since it was established, the team has helped 869 tenants to claim an average of £2,314.54 in additional benefits.
Together, these previously unclaimed benefits now add up to £2,011,335.
The team provides a complete package of financial support – including helping people claim benefits they are entitled to but unaware of, applying for discretionary housing payments and appealing against benefits decisions.
Derwentside Homes’ Head of Housing Services Shelagh McGinn, said: “The Welfare Rights Team does a fantastic job helping our tenants to cope with the impact government’s changes to the benefits system which can leave many people confused and unsure of what they are entitled to claim.
“The fact we have now helped our tenants to access £2m in unclaimed benefits is a significant milestone and is testament to the hard work and commitment of the team.
“Our advice is targeted at tenants most at risk of falling into financial difficulty.”
Derwentside’s Welfare Rights Team can be contacted on 01207-521100, freephone 0800-783-9295 or email email@example.com
Source – Northern Echo, 01 Aug 2014
A benefits study in two Middlesbrough suburbs has revealed almost £100,000 of entitlements going unclaimed.
The project could now be rolled out across the town, ranked eighth across the country in the index of multiple deprivation, following the results of the ‘It’s your right to claim’ campaign.
Money experts spent a week in Coulby Newham and Hemlington in March when they spoke to 1,000 people which flagged up 52 potential new claims for help.
Along with a number of follow-up calls made to Middlesbrough Citizen Advice Bureau it is estimated that £93,200 in unclaimed benefits has been identified to assist these residents.
Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlebrough Council’s executive lead for welfare reform, said: “It may well be that we have only scratched the service and we will now need to look at rolling this project out across Middlesbrough.
“This campaign is about removing any stigma attached to welfare and letting people know what their circumstances entitle them to.
“The amount of money we have found going unclaimed in such a short space of time is a real eye-opener and shows this is an important issue that we need to tackle.”
Latest statistics show 24 per cent of householders in the town claim disability benefit and 7.5 per cent are in receipt of Jobseekers’ Allowance.
John Daniels, Manager of Middlesbrough Citizen’s Advice Bureau, said: “Many people in Middlesbrough are finding it difficult to make ends meet.
“At a time when household expenses like gas and electricity seem to be constantly rising, it is important that local people receive all the income to which they are entitled. Campaigns like this are a useful way of ensuring that happens.”
> So that’s £93,200 in unclaimed benefits in just two areas of one town. Now extend this across the North East. Then across the rest of the UK…
Source – Northern Echo 02 May 2014