Don’t miss out on what’s rightfully yours. Book a Benefits Check and find out just what savings or cash you may be entitled to.
“Lots of older people don’t realise you can turn to the state. There are such negative implications about seeking support in the media but it’s really important that you don’t have to struggle,” says Paul Webley who is Age UK Camden’s Information & Advice Manager. He’s also on the board of Healthwatch Camden and has years of experience working in palliative care, with the older LGBT+ community and people with memory loss.
Paul and the Information & Advice team are brilliant at helping Camden residents get the money they are entitled to. Last year they helped more than 3000 people with nearly 7000 issues. They increased people’s income in total by more than £1 million and reduced clients’ debt by £75,000.
For those residents who might think they’ve got everything sorted because they have signed up to the Freedom Pass free travel card, carry a Senior Railcard or take up free eye test, a Benefits Check might still show up ways to save money, with water bill reductions (if your income is less than £19,000 a year) or the Warm Homes discount.
A Benefits Check can be done at Tavis House, by phone or even at your own home. “When people have a Benefits Check and we tell them they might be entitled, they’re often overjoyed. Life is expensive these days, especially if you’ve got no savings or live on a small income,” says Paul. “Even if you think you’ve got all your entitlements it’s good to come in for a Benefits Check. It can mean someone’s income is increased by £18,000 a year or a broken cooker gets replaced.”
The team’s skill is drawing out information from people who are putting up with discomfort and poverty when they don’t need to.
Benefits Check meetings take approximately 45 minutes. They often require follow-up appointments because sorting out life’s complications can’t be done in a day. “I’ll ask how people manage with shopping or accessing the bathroom to find out what’s the impact of their condition, or caring for someone, on their day-to-day life,” says Paul.
Working out which benefits you’re entitled to can be tricky without support, especially with regular changes to legislation. With support from Paul and his team, you can take the guesswork out of getting exactly what you’re entitled to.
Our Information and Advice team help people with many issues. Below are the 10 most common ways a benefits check can have a positive impact on people’s lives.
1. BENEFIT CHECKS
Are you on the right level of income? Did you know that 42% of pension credit goes unclaimed. Book a Benefits Check with us and find out what you’re entitled to.
2. LIVING WITH LONG-TERM HEALTH CONDITIONS
Don’t suffer in silence. Claiming Attendance Allowance can help make living with a long-term condition much easier.
3. CHARITY GRANTS
Many people get used to living with broken or faulty household items. You don’t have to! Age UK Camden can help you access one-off charitygrants for things like washing machines and fridges.
4. DEBT & MONEY ADVICE
Living with debts can be scary and it’s something we don’t like to talk about. But Age UK Camden can help relieve these stresses by supporting you to get on top of your debts.
5. HOUSING OPTIONS
Home is where the heart is. Whether you need advice about downsizing, moving into sheltered accommodation or arranging extra care at home, our Info & Advice team can point you in the right direction.
6. CASE ASSESSMENTS AND ACCESSING CARE AND SUPPORT
If you or a loved one is in need of extra care or support at home, we can help you liaise with the council to get the support you need put in place.
7. ACCESSIBLE TRANSPORT OPTIONS
Enjoy the freedom of being able to get and out about with ease. Let one of our advisors work out what transport options may be available to you.
8. GET YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER
Knowing your loved ones will be able to meet your wishes when you pass away can bring you peace of mind. Age UK Camden help with later life planning including lasting power of attorney, wills and funerals.
9. CARER’S SUPPORT
Caring for someone can sometimes mean you lose out on income elsewhere. Why not make an application for Carer’s Allowance with us and beef up your bank balance.
10. WARM HOME DISCOUNT
Keep your home toasty warm this winter. If you’re on a low income or receive pension credit we can help you apply for a one-off discount to your winter energy bill.
For information and advice from Age UK Camden – for people over 55 years, their family and carers – contact 020 7837 3777
HAVE YOU BEEN AFFECTED BY THE WINDRUSH SCANDAL?
We’re also a good place to start if you feel you have been affected and would like support applying for compensation. Contact Age UK Camden today.