More than 700 people in the Mid Ulster District Council area have been able to claim additional benefits and other support thanks to the benefit uptake service ‘Make the Call’, it has been announced.
The service supports vulnerable people to access benefits and other supports and services which they are entitled to, but had not been claiming.
A total of £3m in additional benefits were claimed in the Mid Ulster Council area, according to official figures.
Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey MLA said: “The aim of this service is to support vulnerable people when they need it most because of their age, disability, illness or in adverse circumstances.
“The Make the Call team carry out a needs assessment to make sure the individual is receiving all the benefits, supports and services that they may be entitled to.
“They then work in partnership with other departments and organisations to offer a wider range of services for example free school meals or a home safety check, or assistance with reducing energy costs or getting a blue badge for car-parking.”
“This service has helped people who Made the Call become on average £88 better off per week and in a recent survey 87% of those surveyed who got in touch for help said the service had a positive impact on them.”
In Northern Ireland as a whole results released by the Department for Communities show that a record £43.2m in additional benefits have been generated for some 9,000 people who had not previously been claiming them through the work of the ‘Make the Call’ team.
To Make the Call, the Department has a free and confidential dedicated telephone line: 0800 232 1271, which is available for people who feel they may be missing out on benefits, services or supports they’re entitled to.
Advice is also available on benefits and other Government schemes such as the Blue Badge scheme and help with school meals.