Benefits help for tenants in Castlemilk has hit a new high thanks to the work of Ardenglen Housing Association.
Ardenglen has disclosed that its hugely-popular Welfare Benefits Service has helped almost 300 people in the last financial year.
Now it has calculated that the amount of money it has helped tenants obtain between April 2017 and March 2018 has topped £635,800 – up from £494,000 in the previous year and a rise of almost 29%.
Ardenglen which offers the service two days a week says it is “working flat out” to help its tenants with many unaware they are entitled to certain State benefits.
And it warned that it expects the free service it offers to be even busier when the controversial Universal Credit is rolled out with Castlemilk included in December.
Last year 275 people were assisted by Ardenglen in the 12 month period with help given to obtain such benefits as Disability Living Allowance, Housing Benefit and Council Tax reduction.
In some cases claims were backdated providing a windfall for tenants who received cash they didn’t even know they were entitled to.
Audrey Simpson, chief executive of Ardenglen, said the figures proved beyond doubt its vital role in helping the Castlemilk community but warned that they were an “illuminating insight” into the struggles some people face.
Audrey said: “We are very pleased indeed to have helped our tenants to access this money to which they are entirely entitled. But they come with a warning. When Universal Credit is rolled out in December we expect further pressure on household incomes and we must be prepared to deal with what we anticipate will be a rise in requests for help.”
Ardenglen revealed that the biggest amount it obtained for tenants was in Personal Independence Payments at £163,742 while Employment Support Allowance topped £125,327.
Working tax credit accounted for £19,414 in claims while Carer’s Allowance accounted for £21,808.
Child Tax Credit claims accounted for £20,013 and Child Benefit of £3,536 – both of which are benefits which help families with dependent children.
Audrey Simpson added: “We are totally committed to delivering a welfare rights service which we believe is an important aspect of the work all of us do within housing associations.”