Scots are urged to use a free benefits calculator to check their entitlements

Scottish national advice service Advice Direct Scotland has urged people to check their benefit entitlements after it emerged that thousands of low-income households lacked essential support.

A UK government publication reported that 850,000 families who qualified for pension credit in 2019/20 did not claim it.

This means that up to £1.7billion of available pension credit has gone unclaimed across the UK, or around £1,900 for every family eligible for support who does not. did not claim.

The report says only 7 out of 10 people entitled to the pension credit claimed it, with just 77% of the total available amount claimed.

Yesterday was Pension Credit Day of Action, an awareness day to encourage people aged 66 and over to check their eligibility.

Consumer champion Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, encouraged people to check if they are eligible.

Advice Direct Scotland, Scotland’s national advice service, has a free online calculator specially designed for Scotland which allows people to check their entitlement to set-aside and devolved benefits. It also gives information on where to get housing advice, municipal tax reductions and support available from local authorities.

Colin Mathieson, spokesperson for Advice Direct Scotland, said: “The cost of living has risen for everyone in recent months, with budgets stretched to breaking point for many.

“There are practical things we can do to try to improve our situation in the face of rising costs. Many Scottish citizens do not claim the full benefits to which they are entitled.

“You can check your entitlement to support, including Scottish Devolved Benefits using the Benefits Calculator available on the website. We also offer a range of services, including help for people struggling with debt and energy bills, and sources of financial support.

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