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High-profile campaign brings borough residents over £1.8m in extra benefits

A high-profile appeal for people to check their benefit entitlements has led to over £1.8 million extra being claimed by local residents.

Across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council additional annual benefits of £1,844,138 have been paid out.

And it is money which recipients have previously entitled to, but had not been claiming.

The increase is due to improving benefit uptake work by the Department for Communities to ensure every individual and household across Northern Ireland is receiving all social security benefits they and their families are properly entitled to.

The money takes account of the 2015/16 financial year.

Communities Minister Paul Givan commented: “Social security benefits provide a critically important safety net for those in most need.  The Department recognised a long term requirement to take proactive steps to address the barriers to claiming and to improve uptake rates.

“Over the past three years, 13,401 customers have been enabled to claim more than £48million in additional benefits they were entitled to, which exceeds the original targets of the plan.  This is not only additional money going into households right across Northern Ireland –  through increased income levels it also delivers a knock on boost for the local economy as well.”

More advice on checking your benefit entitlement is available by ringing the ‘Make the Call’ Benefits Advice Line number on 0800 232 1271, or online at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/makethecall

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