Benefits are top worry for elderly in Sheffield

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Benefits are the most common worry for older people in Sheffield, according to a leading charity.

A fifth of queries handled by elderly charity Age UK’s advice service in the city are benefits related, according to its latest report.

The number of people contacting Age UK to ask about housing issues also shot up by 41 per cent when compared to the first quarter of the year.

Debra Atkinson, Age UK’s information and advice service manager, said: “Benefits continue to be our most common enquiry area. The queries we get range from benefits checks and helping people with their applications to more complex casework.

“For example, in the last quarter we helped resolve a council tax issue for one woman which had been going on since her benefits stopped in 2010.

“We were able to assist and the council quickly reviewed the case and reinstated her council tax benefit.”

Age UK Sheffield Chief Executive Rosalind Eve said: “We have seen need for this core service increasing in recent years – a trend that will certainly continue apace for the foreseeable future.

“We are currently developing plans that will ensure that the service is of the highest quality, reaches more people and is equally accessible to all. Developments will include increasing volunteer numbers and boosting use of the service, especially by people from ethnic communities.”