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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Older people suffer as they don’t claim benefits

This news post is over 6 years old

​Charity's campaign aims to increase benefits uptake

Hundreds of thousands of older people in Scotland are missing out on social security money they are entitled to because they are not claiming it, according to Citizens Advice Scotland.

The Scottish CAB network has joined with the Scottish Government to launch a campaign urging people to seek CAB support in claiming the benefits they are entitled to.

CAS Scotland chief executive Derek Mitchell said many people are entitled to claim financial support that could make a big difference to their lives, but they don’t claim it because they don’t know how to, and in some cases they feel embarrassed about claiming.

This is often particularly true of older people.

He said: “Our message is that nobody need hold back from claiming what they are due. You’ve earned it, so claim it, and the CAB network is here to help you. Our trained advisers will assess what benefits you are entitled to and help you go about making the claim.

“The social security system can seem complex and intimidating, particularly to those not used to it. But if you are entitled to some kind of assistance that money is not charity, it is yours and you should claim it.

“If you dropped money in the street you would pick it up. If you won a competition you’d entered, you would take the money. This is just the same. You may be entitled to hundreds or even thousands of pounds. So take this opportunity and let us help you get what you are entitled to.”

Sarah Erskine, chief officer of Maryhill and Possilpark CAB, where the campaign was launched, said: “Every day at this CAB and at others across the country we see clients who are not aware of their benefits entitlements and the income they could be receiving, particularly if there’s been a change of circumstances such as ill health or having to take on additional caring responsibilities.

“At your local CAB, we can undertake a benefits check and talk you through your benefits entitlements, and even support you to make an application if you would like to do so.

“As Scotland’s largest independent advice network, our advice is free impartial and confidential – so there’s really nothing to lose by coming to see us.”

People can get the relevant advice from their local CAB. If they need assistance in finding where their local CAB is they can call 0800 023 2581 and they will be given details of their nearest CAB.