Scots urged to use free benefits calculator to check entitlement
Scotland’s national advice service, Advice Direct Scotland, has urged people to check their benefits entitlement after it emerged thousands of low-income households are missing out on key support.
A UK Government publication reported that 850,000 families who were entitled to receive Pension Credit in 2019/20 did not claim it.
It means up to £1.7 billion of available Pension Credit went unclaimed across the UK, amounting to around £1,900 for each family entitled to receive the support who did not claim it.
The report said only 7 out of 10 of those entitled to Pension Credit claimed it, with just 77 per cent of the total amount available being claimed.
Yesterday was Pension Credit Day of Action, an awareness day to encourage people aged 66 or over to check their eligibility.
Consumer champion Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, has encouraged people to check if they qualify.
Advice Direct Scotland, Scotland’s national advice service, has a free online calculator tailored specifically for Scotland, which allows people to check their entitlement to both reserved and devolved benefits. It also gives information on where to receive housing advice, council tax discounts, and what support is available from local authorities.
Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “The cost of living has increased for everyone over the last few months, with budgets being stretched to breaking point for many.
“There are practical things we can do to try and improve our situation when faced with increasing costs. Many Scottish citizens are not claiming the full benefits that they are entitled to.
“You can check your entitlement to support, including Scottish devolved benefits using the benefits calculator available at the website. We also have a range of services available including help for people struggling with debt and energy bills, as well as sources of financial support.”