Sunday, 1 November 2009

Council secures extra benefits for pensioners

Anglesey pensioners have received more than £130,000 in extra benefits thanks to support provided by the County Council.

Take-up has increased dramatically since the appointment of a dedicated officer within the Benefits Section in September 2008. The Housing and Council Tax Benefit Take-up Officer post was created with funding from the Welsh Assembly Government.

Housing and Council Tax Benefit Take-up Officer, Maureen Haf, is responsible for identifying potential claimants, helping them with claims, and providing advice on other benefits they may be entitled to.

Maureen explained, "During 2008/09, an extra £80,000 has been secured for pensioners making Council Tax and Housing Benefit claims, together with an additional £56,000 in Pension Credit and Attendance Allowance."

She added, "New rules introduced on November 2nd 2009 should also make it easier for more pensioners, as well as families with children, to qualify for Council Tax and Housing Benefit. The new rules mean that Child Benefit will no longer be classed as income when authorities calculate eligibility for other benefits."

Housing and Council Tax Benefit claimants need take no action as the Authority's Benefit Section will be notified of any changes. Existing Council Tax Benefit claimants' cases will also be reassessed automatically.

These changes will affect both Pension Credit and Council Tax Benefit as the capital limit will be raised from £6,000 to £10,000 on November 2nd.

There may also be those who have not previously qualified for Council Tax Benefit, but could now qualify for Council Tax Benefit and Pension Credit due to the new changes introduced.

Those people are encouraged to call Benefit Take-up Officer, Maureen Haf, on 01248 751807 to check if they qualify as a result of the new rules.


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