OLDER PEOPLE MISSING OUT ON VITAL SUPPORT
Hundreds of pensioners on low incomes are missing out on the social security payments which could lift them out of poverty, while thousands more could be entitled to further financial support in later life.
The latest figures from the Scottish Government highlights the fact that 150,000 pensioners across the country are living in poverty. An estimated £332m of Pension Credit, designed to boost the income of older people on a low State Pension and lift them out of poverty, goes unclaimed in Scotland every year. Pension Credit is one of the most underclaimed benefits with four in ten eligible pensioners missing out on what they are due. It is also the route to keep a free TV licence if you are over 75.
That is why I am supporting Age Scotland’s new “Check in, Cash out” campaign, calling on local older people to find out if they are missing out on financial support available to help reduce pensioner poverty and live well in later life.
Older people, their families, and carers can check that they are getting everything they are entitled to by contacting Age Scotland’s confidential 0800 12 44 222 helpline, finding more information in their free social security information guides, or by attending one of their upcoming online social security awareness workshops.
It is truly incredible to hear from Age Scotland that it estimates as many as 2,113 pensioners in North Ayrshire & Arran constituency alone are missing out on Pension Credit and other vital social security. They are living on very low incomes or in poverty, but not claiming what they are entitled to whether through a lack of awareness, barriers to claiming, or feeling that they are coping fine as it is.
It’s so important that older people receive this support when they need it. After all, they have been contributing towards it throughout their lives. But it’s not just Pension Credit that older people are missing out on: Council Tax Reduction, Attendance Allowance for those with a disability, Carer’s Allowance and support for energy bills are available but aren’t being accessed.
I want to make sure people know what support is available to them should they need it. I urge my constituents over the age of 50 to call Age Scotland’s 0800 12 44 222 helpline - open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm - to check they’re not missing out.