New research by the national charity, Turn2us, has found that half of low income households in Scotland are not claiming the welfare benefits and tax credits they could be entitled to, says Bute Advice Centre.
This is despite the fact that a huge 86% of this group have seen no improvement to their financial situation over the last year.
Nearly three-fifths (58%) of those in Scotland who aren’t receiving this support said they had been deterred from checking or claiming potential benefits entitlements because they did not think they would be eligible. In addition, over one in ten (11%) said they were unsure of how or where to find out about this help. As a result, over three-quarters (77%) have not checked what welfare benefits they could be entitled to within the last year.
Furthermore, over two-thirds (67%) would not consider checking their benefits entitlements if their income dropped, and only two percent would turn to a charity for help. Yet nearly two-fifths (37%) said they would cut back on gas, electricity and other essentials, and over a quarter (28%) would resort to cutting back on food.
Bute Advice Centre is keen to ensure that everyone, (including those working,unemployed, disabled, carers, pensioners and others), on Bute are in receipt of all the benefits they are entitled to. They offer free, confidential, one-to-one advice sessions. A benefits check can be carried out to give peace of mind that everything is in order, or if a claim should be made, advisers will assist.
If you have an interest in helping people claim disability benefits, Bute Advice Centre is looking for a Volunteer Disability Benefits Adviser. Training will be provided, and IT skills would be an advantage, but are not essential.
For more information please call the manager, Julie Semple, on (01700) 502784.