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Housing association helps tenants access £500,000 of benefits

Welfare rights service helps 296 tenants.

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The Castlemilk association has revealed nearly 300 people were assisted by its welfare rights service in just a year. The association helped them access benefits to which they were entitled and not claiming.

Ardenglen said this week it was “delighted” at the figure of £494,582 and said it proved beyond doubt its vital role in helping the Castlemilk community.

Ardenglen runs a welfare rights service two days a week which allows people to seek advice on a range of money matters.

The service helps tenants who may not be accessing money which they are entitled to claim. This can be due to a number of reasons such as the complexity of the claim process or lack of knowledge that they qualify for such benefits.

In some cases of the 296 people helped by the association, it was able to get payments backdated, helping to ease the hardship on families and individuals.

By far the biggest amount successfully obtained for tenants was Personal Independence Payments, which accounted for just over £115,000.

Carer’s allowance accounted for £17,731, while child tax credit claims totalled £29,688.

Disability living allowance accounted for £15,945, while successful claims for working tax credit was £7,212.

Older tenants were able to claim for £10,656 in pensions credit while many other benefits accounted for smaller amounts. 

Diane Hendry, Head of Housing Services at Ardenglen, said:

“These are remarkable figures and show very clearly how we are helping people in the communities we serve.

“Claiming benefits to which people are perfectly entitled can be complex and time consuming and our whole approach is not just to help people but to make it as simple and easy to understand as possible.

“It is very clear from these figures that people have not been claiming their entitlement, and we are delighted to have been able to ease the financial burden on so many people.”

Audrey Simpson, Chief Executive of Ardenglen, said:

“We are totally committed to delivering a welfare rights service which we believe is an important aspect of the work all of us do within the housing association movement.

“Almost half a million pounds returned to people in Castlemilk is a significant boost to the income of early 300 people, and we encourage all our tenants to make use of this service if and when they need it.”