North Lanarkshire advice services raise £35m in additional benefits for residents
More than £35 million in additional benefits was generated for residents by advice services in North Lanarkshire in 2021/22.
North Lanarkshire Council’s Social Inclusion and Wealth Team, social work and housing services provide local people with advice and support on a wide range of benefits-related issues, including a full check to ensure they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.
In addition, the council runs the MacMillan Lanarkshire Advice Service which offers home visits, telephone interviews and surgeries in hospitals for people affected by cancer. The service’s work helped generate over £2.5m in additional benefits.
“The benefits system is complex and it can be difficult for people to know which benefits are available to them and how to apply, so the advice our staff provides is vital,” said council leader Jim Logue.
“Our services make sure residents are receiving all the benefits they’re eligible for, maximising their income and helping them to better manage their finances. It can help prevent residents getting into debt or arrears with rent and other bills.
“For every £1 the council invests in advice services, £31.58 is generated for residents and the local economy.”
The local authority has developed an online budgeting tool and benefits calculator to help residents manage their money as the cost of living increases are being felt by households across the UK.
An advice page is available at www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk/hardship offering practical help for families and people of all ages to claim the benefits they’re entitled to, save on energy costs, apply for clothing and free school meal grants, and manage their money. It also gives links to other advice agencies such as Money Support Scotland and Citizens Advice Scotland.