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Many Pensioners Don’t Claim Their Dues
Many pensioners are missing out
on a lot of money © SXC
Confusion over the complicated benefits system is keeping pensioners from claiming much needed cash, warns Age Concern today as the charity launches the next major phase in its year-long Your Rights benefits campaign.
New research from Age Concern shows that 6 out of 10 lower income pensioners are put off claiming benefits by the complex system, with almost half finding means-testing too intrusive and 48% being discouraged by the complicated forms. However Age Concern is urging older people not to be put off by the system as claiming benefits could dramatically improve their standard of living and the charity can help make claiming simple.
Four years on from the launch of the Government’s flagship benefit for older people - Pension Credit - a third of those entitled to claim are still missing out. Despite huge increases to the cost of living for pensioners in recent years, up to £2.5 billion is left unclaimed each year. Millions of pensioners are missing out on benefits such as Pension Credit because they find the system difficult to understand, are embarrassed about claiming or simply don’t realise they’re entitled to the extra cash.
Gordon Lishman, Director General of Age Concern said:
“Pension Credit is one of the main benefits available for older people and putting in a claim can actually open the door to receiving other money benefits. We would urge any older person who finds their income stretched to see if they could claim. Older people shouldn’t let the system get the better of them. Age Concern advisors are there to help them through the claiming process.”
Age Concern is calling on the Government to make it easier for older people to claim benefits
by introducing a single claim-line for all means-tested benefits, paying benefits automatically to those entitled and providing more help and information in languages other than English. These calls are backed up by the charity’s new findings which show that 85% of pensioners think automatic payments would help ease the claiming process and 80% would like to see a single benefits claim-line introduced.
REHACARE.de; Source: Age Concern
- For more information on Age Concern visit: www.ageconcern.org.uk