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Benefits awareness week for Scottish pensioners

10th April 2006

A week designed to promote the financial rights of pensioners north of the border was launched by Age Concern Scotland on Friday.

Your Rights Week is designed to encourage pensioners to take up the £2 billion in government benefits that go unclaimed each year.

The group claims that many older people do not realise they are eligible for benefits or believe that the paperwork involved is too lengthy and complicated to make it worth their while.

In addition, some pensioners are thought to be put off from claiming due to the stigma involved in receiving benefits.

Age Concern Scotland is also a member of the £11 Million Group, a multi-agency campaign set up to deal with the £11 million in benefits that went unclaimed in Dumfries and Galloway last year.

The group believes it has helped recoup £1.8 million in benefits for the elderly since its launch last July.

David Manion, chief executive of Age Concern Scotland, commented: "The success of the £11 Million Group shows just what can be achieved through a concerted effort from a number of like-minded agencies working in partnership to increase benefit uptake."

He added that the income threshold for those eligible for benefits has recently risen, allowing more pensioners to make claims.