Age UK B&NES helped local older people access almost £1m in benefits they were entitled to, but had been missing out on last year, thanks to their free Information & Advice service and benefits checks.
Age UK B&NES chief executive, Janet Dabbs, said: “We’re helping more and more residents who need a basic check on their benefits entitlement as well as practical help on managing their claims.
“According to a recent report from the Department of Work and Pensions, around 1.7 million older people entitled to Pension Credit are not claiming it, and 2.2 million people entitled to Council Tax support are not taking up the benefit.
“Significant changes were made to the state pension that came in on April 6, and older people may be unaware of how they will impact them.
“Also many people don’t know about the government’s Warm Home Discount Scheme, which provides extra help towards the cost of electricity for some people on low incomes.
“The system can be quite bewildering and we’re here to provide free information and advice for older people their families and carers.
“Our advisers are available all through the summer at our Bath office and in Midsomer Norton, Radstock and Keynsham.”
The Information and Advice service can also help older people, and their families, with advice on care, housing, finance and social opportunities.
To find out more about the service, call in at the charity’s main office at 18 Kingsmead Square, Bath, which is open 9.30am -3.30pm Monday – Friday, or call 01225 466135.
A free national advice line is also available, and open 8am to 7pm 365 days a year, 0800 678 1174. Factsheets on all issues facing older people can be downloaded from www.ageuk.org.uk.