I know that you will share our serious concern about the impact of the spiralling cost of living on people as winter approaches. Our specific concerns are obviously for older people and carers, particularly those who are managing on a fixed income. We know from the huge increase in people contacting us for advice and help that this is causing a great deal of anxiety to older people and their families, too many of whom simply have no idea how they will meet rising costs this winter.
In light of this, we are launching the first stage of a new information campaign this week to ensure that people are aware of and receiving all the support to which they are entitled.
The first stage of our campaign is focussed on raising awareness of Pension Credit and encouraging people to undertake a benefits check to ensure they are getting all the support that they are eligible for.
A recent JSNA Bitesize report (attached) has estimated that over 4,000 older people in Oxfordshire are not claiming the Pension Credit to which they are entitled, equating to a staggering £8.2m in unclaimed entitlement locally. Pension Credit also serves as a gateway to other forms of support, which could go a long way in helping some older people meet rising costs.
We are asking for your help to ensure that all local older people are receiving the financial support to which they’re entitled, by taking one or more of the following actions:
- publicising the campaign by simply forwarding this email or incorporating the content into your own communications. You can find more information about the campaign here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/oxfordshire/about-us/cost-of-living-campaign/
- ‘making every contact count’ by raising the issue of entitlements in your contact with older people and carers
- emphasising that these are entitlements not handouts
- using the attached information sheets to point people in the direction of the support available. You can find more information about entitlements here: Benefits and entitlements for pensioners and the elderly | Age UK
- encouraging people to check their eligibility using the Age UK Benefits Calculator here – Benefit calculator (ageuk.org.uk) or another benefits checker
Together, let’s make sure that that £8.2m is in the pockets of local older people this winter, helping them to cover mounting expenses.
Age UK Oxfordshire & Action for Carers Oxfordshire
9 Napier Court | Barton Lane | Abingdon | OX14 3YT
Phone: 0345 450 1276