Older people in Larne are missing out on benefits, according to Age NI.
The charity has reported that some pensioners are unaware that additional financial support is available.
Anne O’Reilly, Age NI chief executive, said: “Our phone lines have been busier than ever, and in December, we carried out four times more benefits checks than this time last year.
Our advisors hear from lots of older people, who are often isolated and unsupported by family or friends or already on a low income about cutting back on essentials like food and heating simply because they are unaware of the additional financial support that’s out there. There are those who believe that because they already receive one benefit they might not be eligible to receive another.
For example, she said that an advisor helped one lady access more than £72 per week in Pension Credit and because she was entitled to an additional benefit called Guaranteed Pension Credit, she was also eligible to have her rent paid in full.
There is a list of 14 potential benefits that older people could be receiving that may help prevent them from falling into financial hardship including:
• Pension Credit
• Attendance Allowance
• Rates Relief
• Lone Pensioner Allowance
• Housing Benefit
The Age NI Advice Team is available to explain each benefit and will provide a free benefits check to determine a person’s eligibility for additional support. As a result of a successful benefits check with Age NI, an older person, on average, could potentially increase their income by £62 per week. To speak with a trained advisor in confidence, call Age NI freephone on 0808 808 7575.