Age UK’s Moneybus has helped older people claim more than £300,000 in health and income benefits. Sponsored by Legal and General, the Moneybus visited English regions with the highest number of older people that are eligible for financial benefits, but haven’t claimed – Cheshire, Leeds, East Riding, Bradford and District, Country Durham, Northumberland and Wiltshire. Pippa Webster, who manages Age UK Salisbury’s Information and Advice department, tell us about her experience on the bus.
When the Moneybus came to Salisbury at the beginning of October, I spent the day giving advice to all those who climbed aboard. The organisation of the event and the Age UK volunteers who came as support were absolutely fantastic – giving away 950 goody bags and encouraging more than 50 people to come into the bus to discuss the benefits they might be entitled to.
Although it was a bit of a tight squeeze at times, it was remarkable how many older people came along to see us who weren’t at all perturbed at discussing their financial situation with us on a bus! Continue reading “All aboard the Moneybus”
Far too many older people are living in poverty – the latest figures put the number at 1.8 million. That’s an incredible number of people struggling to ‘make do’ on less than 60% of average (median) income after housing costs.
But despite the scale of poverty in later life, a huge amount of benefits, £5.5 billion, goes unclaimed each year. About 30% of older people who are eligible for Pension Credit do not take up their entitlement.
So, you may ask, if so many older people living in poverty are in such desperate need, why don’t they claim their benefits?
Many older people have had negative experiences when claiming benefits, finding the whole system insurmountable. For example, the application form for Pension Credit is 43 pages long. Older people are more likely than any other age group to miss out on their benefits because they are hesitant to claim, don’t think they are eligible, or believe the claiming process is over-complicated and intrusive. There is a real need to get rid of the stigma that some people associate with claiming benefits.
Age UK’s More Money in Your Pocket campaign aims to overcome these barriers, offering independent information and advice that is delivered by our trusted local Age UK partners. Our Information and Advice workers support older people them to claim what they are entitled to.
Today marks the start of the More Money in Your Pocket road-show, sponsored by Legal & General (L&G). After several months of planning, our newly branded Age UK bus is on the road visiting the eight areas in England that the Department of Work and Pensions have identified as having the highest numbers of older people who are eligible for Pension Credit but have not claimed.