News at a glance:
- Over £5.6 million in Pension Credit went unclaimed within West Lothian in 2022
- Pension Credit gives you extra money to help with your living costs if you're over State Pension age and on a low income.
- Reports suggest that around £15 billion in means tested benefits is unclaimed each year in the UK
- In West Lothian, the council's Advice Shop has a dedicated service that helps local pensioners claim benefits that they are entitled to and maximise their income. The Pensioner Income Maximisation Team within the council's Advice Shop is a free, impartial and confidential service to help pensioners with a variety of issues such as Welfare Benefits, Energy Advice, Money and Debt and Housing Advice
- The team has helped local pensioners generate their income by over £10.4 million last year. This is done through carrying out assessments with individuals, advising them on what benefits they are entitled to and helping them apply
Councillor Anne McMillan, who is the council's Older People's Champion said: "Many pensioners I meet often say that they are too proud to ask for help and don't see themselves as in need of receiving benefits. "However, these benefits are set aside specifically to help pensioners, and during this time where prices are rising and public sector budgets are being squeezed, it is important to highlight what support is available.
"I'd urge local people of pensionable age to contact the Pensioner Income Maximisation Service at the Advice Shop and find out if they are entitled to support."
Leader of West Lothian Council Lawrence Fitzpatrick added: "We know that pensioners on a low income are amongst the most vulnerable group in our society. It's so important that they contact the Advice Shop to ensure that they are not missing out on financial support that they are entitled to."
Cal the Advice Shop on: 01506 283 000 or visit: