Benefits calculator leads to £43m of unclaimed money being identified
An online tool designed to ensure Scots are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to has identified £43 million in unclaimed money over the past year.
Advice Direct Scotland’s benefits calculator is tailored for Scotland and allows people to check their entitlement to both devolved and reserved benefits – the first to do so.
New figures show that it was used by 56,000 people in the past 12 months, with over £43m of unclaimed money identified.
The tool, available at www.advice.scot, is designed to reduce financial hardship by ensuring people are claiming all the support they are entitled to, as around half a million Scots do not.
It takes users through a series of simple and easy-to-answer questions about their personal circumstances and calculates what – if any – benefits they may be able to claim.
Benefits checked by the tool include Universal Credit, the Scottish Child Payment, Council Tax Reduction, Pension Credit, the Job Start Payment, the Carer’s Allowance Supplement, and Universal Credit, as well as many others.
Advice Direct Scotland has launched a new campaign which is designed to highlight all the assistance available, and to ensure people know what they are entitled to.
Expert advisers can give information and help applicants complete forms if they have queries or concerns.
The charity also offers free and practical advice on a range of issues including debt and money problems, housing, understanding energy bills, and consumer rights.
Sulaimon Olafare, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “We know that around half a million Scots do not claim all the support they are entitled to.
“Checking your entitlement is more important than ever given the current cost-of-living crisis, with many people struggling to afford essential items like food and energy.
“There are sources of financial support available, including benefits and grants, but understanding these can be a daunting experience.
“Our free and unique online calculator tool is the only one that is tailored for Scotland and can check both devolved and reserved benefits.
“With 56,000 checks uncovering over £43 million in unclaimed money in the last year, we would encourage more Scots to ensure they are receiving everything they are entitled to.”