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Older people urged to claim ‘what’s theirs’

Older people urged to claim ‘what’s theirs’

Category: Retirement

Updated: 31/01/2012
First Published: 31/01/2012

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Older people are being urged to claim 'what's theirs' as millions of pounds worth of benefits continue to go unclaimed.

Citizens Advice is spearheading the campaign to unite people with money they can rightfully claim and use to boost their retirement income.

Official figures show that up to £20 billion in means-tested benefits and tax credits go unclaimed every year at a time when many people are struggling to make ends meet.

Citizens Advice says that as many as 1.6 million pensioners are missing out on an average of £34 a week in pension credit, while up to 2.9 million households in all age groups are missing out on an average £14 a week in council tax benefit.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of the organisation, said that many people simply don't realise that they are entitled to benefits, while others find the system daunting and complicated so decide not to put in a claim.

"Some think the amount they get will not be worth the trouble, she added, "but all too often they are missing out on substantial amounts of extra cash that could make a real difference to their lives."

Simon Cox, head of planning at Sun Life, which is partnering the Citizens Advice Bureau to raise awareness of benefits that older people are entitled to, said that not being able to access enough money in later life is an increasing problem and 'very distressing'.

"In addition customers told us they wanted to understand what benefits they are entitled to," he added.

"It is a sobering thought that so many people in or around retirement are not claiming what they are entitled, which could make a real difference in helping them cope at what we all know is a difficult time."

For more information on claiming what's rightfully yours, check citizensadvice.org.uk.

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