Wheatley unveils new benefits take-up campaign

Wheatley Group has launched a new campaign to help customers claim all the welfare benefits and tax credits they’re entitled to as new figures revealed it helped tenants claw back over £11 million in unclaimed benefits in the past year.

Wheatley unveils new benefits take-up campaign

Loretto Housing tenant Helen Boyle

The new benefits take-up campaign will increase awareness of benefits tenants can apply for and how the group’s advisors can help.

Wheatley’s advisors helped customers claim back £11,430,320 in benefits and tax credits they were entitled to between September 2020 and September 2021. It is estimated up to £15 billion of benefits go unclaimed in the UK every year.

The initial phase of Wheatley’s campaign – for tenants of GHA, Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Dunedin Canmore, Loretto Housing, West Lothian Housing Partnership and Lowther – focuses on the new Scottish Child Disability Benefit and will run until the end of this year.

Olga Clayton, group director of housing and care, added: “The benefits system can be difficult for people to navigate and our advisors are there to help tenants claim all the benefits and tax credits they’re entitled to.

“Welfare benefits are a vital safety net for many people on low incomes. It’s important people don’t miss out.”

Recent changes to Universal Credit, and the end of the furlough scheme in September, means the campaign will target people of working age who may be eligible for Universal Credit.

The wide-ranging campaign will also focus on:

  • benefits for people reaching pension age;
  • benefits for parents;
  • illness or disability benefits;
  • and bereavement benefits.

Wheatley will be encouraging people in these groups to get in touch to access the support available through articles with advice and information on websites and social media.

There will also be updates for staff so they can help tenants and refer them to Wheatley’s team of 24 welfare benefits advisors.

Loretto Housing tenant Helen Boyle, from Shawbridge in Glasgow, got help to claim Pension Credit – and described her welfare benefits advisor as her “guardian angel”.

Helen, 66, said: “My welfare benefits advisor Mairi helped me with Pension Credit.

“I’d been trying to contact the DWP on the phone and couldn’t get through. It was very stressful. But Mairi explained what to do, what information to send them, and helped me with everything.

“She was great. She was always there to support me, no matter how busy she was. She was like my guardian angel.

“It can be frustrating dealing with the DWP – but Wheatley’s benefit advisors take the stress out of it. They really know their stuff and will do all they can to help. Tenants who need help should get in touch.”

Wheatley offers a wide range of services for tenants who need extra support, including help to cut fuel bills, help for tenants struggling to put food on the table, who need help furnishing their homes, help into jobs and training and more.

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