£88m in Council Tax Reduction goes unclaimed every year
New figures from Age Scotland demonstrate that seniors on low incomes overlooked £88 million in Council Tax Reduction support this past year.
The charity says that the ‘astonishing’ levels reveal that a lot more must be completed to boost people’s knowledge of the financial support available making the process of receiving it a lot more streamlined.
As council tax bills with this financial year find doormats across Scotland, Age Scotland estimates that hundreds of thousands of older people are missing out on vital support they are eligible for. With 150,000 pensioners residing in poverty and thousands more on the cusp, the charity says this huge sum of unclaimed support will make a genuine impact on those most in need of assistance.
A new ‘Check in, Cash out’ campaign aims to boost older people’s awareness and increase uptake from the financial support available to enable them to live well, and work to change the narrative about social security so it's treated inside a better light, removing any stigma about accessing it.
Brian Sloan, Age Scotland’s chief executive, said: “This astonishing degree of underclaimed Council Tax Reduction, among other causes of financial support for example Pension Credit, could be making a real difference to the lives of those seniors on low incomes, driving down amounts of poverty and boosting their wellbeing. We’ve got to make it easier for individuals to assert and be sure that accessing passported benefits is much more streamlined.
“Age Scotland’s helpline identified around £500,000 in unclaimed social security for older people last year but that is clearly just the tip from the iceberg. Each year vast sums of pounds in vital financial support is missed by those people who are unaware it exists, don’t know where you can turn for help to claim, are locked out as they aren’t online, or feel stigma about needing this help.”