With the help of the Benefit Uptake Programme some of Limavady’s most vulnerable people benefited from an extra £139,000 in their pockets, according to the Social Development Department.
“This is due to the success of the Minister for Social Department’s Benefit Uptake Programme in 2013/14 which saw over 4,000 people, many of them older people, gain £14.2 million in new and additional benefits,” said a spokesperson.
“In fact, since 2005, benefit uptake work has generated over £81million in additional income for people in Northern Ireland.”
Minister Mervyn Storey said: “I am committed to promoting the uptake of benefits in an effort to tackle poverty and improve lives for those most vulnerable. This extra money means more income for grocery shopping and help towards fuel bills for keeping homes warm in winter. This is additional money that is making a difference to people throughout Northern Ireland, including 50 in the Limavady area.”
The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge, said: “Many older people across Northern Ireland struggle to get by on small incomes, some finding themselves having to choose between heating and eating. I commend the Minister and his Department for their work on the ’Make the Call‘ campaign, and I am delighted that an additional £139,000 has now been distributed in the past year to those in the Limavady area who need and deserve it. I would encourage all older people to ‘Make the Call’ and check that they are receiving all the support they are entitled to.”
For information on benefit uptake programmes, visit http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/unclaimed-benefits