£1m extra for vulnerable people in Newry and Mourne

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Friday, January 22nd, 2016
Almost 300 people in the Newry and Mourne area have more money in their pockets today than they did last year. storey1Announcing the success of his Department’s Benefit Uptake Programme for 2014/15, Minister Storey confirmed that 285 people in the Newry and Mourne area gained an additional £1,093,836 in benefits they were entitled to, but were not claiming. The Minister also confirmed that in total, 4,702 people across Northern Ireland gained an additional £15.9million in benefits they were entitled to, but not claiming. In fact, since 2005, the Department for Social Development’s benefit uptake work has generated nearly £100million of additional income for people in Northern Ireland. Minister Storey said, “This is the second year of my Department’s Benefit Uptake Programme which is tailored to ensure that people in Northern Ireland receive all the benefits they are entitled to. “The results are impressive; not only are thousands of people receiving extra help with their household bills, but this additional £16million also benefits our economy with people spending the extra cash in their local communities. “I am delighted with the continued success of this programme. My Department had set a three year target to ensure that £30million in additional benefits was claimed by our customers by March 2016. Not only has this target been met, but it has been exceeded already with £30.1million being claimed by 8,968 people since the programme began in 2013.” Overall, the number of people who responded to the Department’s benefit uptake activities in 2014 /15 increased by 24% on the previous year to 43,610. In particular, the Department’s high profile ‘Make the Call’ advertising generated over 18,000 calls, resulting in annual benefits generated equating to just under £6million. The Minister also confirmed that the ‘Make the Call’ advertising campaign would return to screens in January 2016. “I urge people in all circumstances to ‘Make the Call’, including older people and those caring for them, to find out if they are entitled to any additional benefits. “The ‘Make the Call’ freephone advice line is confidential and manned by experienced and friendly advisors who can provide information about benefits people may be entitled to, and arrange help with making a claim for benefit where it is required. Make the Call on 0800 232 1271.” For more information on benefit uptake programmes, visit: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/money-tax-and-benefits/benefits-and-financial-support/unclaimed-benefits.htm
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