Angus CouncilTel: 08452 777 778

Issued: 27 August 2004

Hundreds Call 60+ Benefit Advice Line

A telephone advice line set up to advise Tayside pensioners on their entitlement to benefits has been inundated by calls.

In its first week the advice line, which is a partnership arrangement between Angus, Dundee, Perth Kinross council's and the Pension Service, was busy dealing with hundreds of calls from pensioners wishing to check their entitlement.

The two-week benefit take-up campaign started on Monday (23 August) and runs until Friday 3 September.

Using a benefits calculator developed by Angus Council's welfare rights team, citizens' can check their entitlement by phone, on the dedicated advice line staffed by welfare rights officers or a member of the Pension Service.

Following the quick benefits check, a print out of the results will be sent to the individual. Help in making a claim is available from the pension service if needed, with appointments at home or at a venue to suit.

The check only takes a few minutes and could bring callers an increase in their weekly income through Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. In some cases Pension Credit claims can be backdated for up to 12 months and arrears paid.

Angus Council Social Work and Health Convenor Glennis Middleton continued to urge Tayside's OAP's to grasp the chance of claiming their dues. "This joint initiative has proved to be a great success," she said. "It is clear that there are still many older people in Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross that are not receiving their full entitlement to the welfare benefits available. I would encourage everyone who reads this to share the information with others who may be entitled to Pension Credit.

"This joint working arrangement between the three council's and the Pension Service has proved to be a great success and is one that can be replicated in the future."

The benefits check phone line will remain open until Friday 3 September 2004 - to check your entitlement simply call (01382) 564358 or 564359 between 9.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.

Don't miss out call (01382) 564358 or (01382) 564359.