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Older people in Lancaster £430k better off thanks to free benefits checks

Older residents living in Lancaster and Morecambe are being urged to take up the offer of a free independent benefit check – with more than £430,000 claimed during the latest campaign.

Older people aged 75 and over are being encouraged to take part in the benefit take-up campaign organised by Lancashire County Council's Welfare Rights Service in partnership with Lancaster City Council.

Lancaster City Council has already contacted 2229 over-75s in their area who were receiving either Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support. A letter was sent out by the city council to invite them to apply for a free and confidential benefits check that would be completed by Lancashire County Council's Welfare Rights Service.

So far 217 free benefits checks have been completed, resulting in a total annual cash gain of £364,380. An additional £75,351 has also been received from back pay.

However, many pensioners in the Lancaster and Morecambe district may still be worrying about paying their bills and seeing their savings reduce as their income is not enough to cover these expenses.

This is why Lancashire County Council is running this campaign to ensure that local pensioners receive the benefits they are entitled to.

Advisers from the Pensioner Take Up Team, who are working with pensioners to maximise their income, will be attending Lancaster Sainsburys (Cable Street) on Wednesday 10 April 2024 from 10am to 3pm, and they are urging anyone who hasn't had a benefit check to pop in.

Joanne Barker, Welfare Rights Manager at Lancashire County Council, said: "Our free and confidential benefits checks are putting money into the pockets of older residents at a time when we know people's finances are stretched.

"We've ran this campaign in Ribble Valley, Preston, Lancaster, Burnley and Wyre and plan to roll it out across Lancashire.

"I would urge our older residents to come and speak to us at Sainsbury's next Wednesday, or alternatively get in contact with the Welfare Rights Service."

Anyone aged 75 or over who would like a free and confidential benefit check can phone the Welfare Rights Pensioners Advice Line on 01772 533321 or email infowrs@lancashire.gov.uk

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