Sheffield old folk urged to claim vital benefits

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A new campaign has been launched to end pensioner poverty by urging Sheffield’s older people to ensure they are not missing out on vital benefits.

Age UK Sheffield has added its voice to the End Pensioner Poverty campaign in a bid to highlight vital benefits such as pension credit, housing benefit, attendance allowance and council tax support which pensioners may be entitled to – but are not claiming.

Chief executive Rosalind Eve said: “It’s a disgrace that so many older people in our community are living in poverty, unable to afford decent food, heat their home or live an independent life, when, according to national figures from the Government, billions of pounds lie unclaimed in benefits.

“If all those eligible for pension credit alone made a claim, it could boost their budget by more than £1,700 a year – or £33 a week.

“Huge numbers of older people are missing out on crucial financial support simply because they don’t know about it.

“Some are embarrassed to claim, some have tried unsuccessfully before, others are put off by a process that they think is too intrusive or overly complicated.

“The positive impacts of claiming are huge. In the first quarter of this year alone, our benefits advice service secured more than £95,000 for our clients.”

Age UK Sheffield has been providing support to Sheffield’s over 50s for more than three decades and each year gives support to more than 12,000 people.

The charity underwent a radical shake-up earlier this year to cater for a sharp rise in demand and to make services more accessible.