Newry residents urged to ‘Make the Call’ to check their benefit entitlement

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Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Communities Minister Paul Givan has urged people in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area to ‘Make the Call’ to check if they are missing out on unclaimed benefits, supports and services. make-the-call-launch2Speaking as he launched the Department for Communities’ latest three year plan for improving benefit uptake, the Minister said, “The benefits system exists to protect the most vulnerable in society. “For those unable to work due to disability, ill health or age, maximising benefit uptake can offer that safety net and help tackle poverty. “However, people can miss out on claiming their entitlement for a range of reasons; they may not believe they are eligible, feel they have enough to get by on or are uncomfortable or overwhelmed by the process.” In an example case, a couple from the Newry, Mourne & Down Council area was supported to claim for Attendance Allowance, Carers Allowance and Severe Disability Premium. As a result, their total weekly income increased by £357.50. They were also awarded arrears of £4,854.50. The Minister continued, “As this example demonstrates, receiving all the support they are entitled to can make a real difference to the lives of individuals and families. “Improving benefit uptake is a long term vision and a key part of my Department’s social inclusion agenda. In 2015 / 16 alone, £18 million has been generated in additional annual benefits for over 4,000 people across Northern Ireland. This also boosts our local economy, by providing for increased spending on goods and services.”
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September 2016The Department will work collaboratively across wider Government and with stakeholders including local councils and the voluntary sector to promote benefit awareness as part of a comprehensive programme of awareness raising, communication and support. The Minister added, “Over the next three years, my Department will assist 100,000 people review their entitlements and deliver at least £40 million in additional benefits to those in need. I would urge anyone with any questions to contact our ‘Make the Call’ Benefits Advice Line on 0800 232 1271 for a benefit entitlement check. “It is free and confidential and you will be assisted at every stage in the process by a local Advisor.” The ‘Make the Call’ Benefits Advice Line number is 0800 232 1271. Further information is available at
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