Benefits worth £10m rightfully claimed thanks to council

By on 31/10/2011 in News

Efforts to support the vulnerable have seen Birmingham City Council help more than 3,000 citizens obtain £10.2million in unclaimed benefits during the last year.

The figure - worth an average of £64 per week to each household - is detailed in the annual report of the Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr Randal Brew.

Housing benefit worth £2.2million and Council Tax benefit totalling £594,000 forms part of the overall figure, raised through the work of the council's benefit and debt advice teams.

On average the advice teams raised £13 for each £1 invested into the operational costs of the service, and individual successes included a £66,000 payout to an 85-year-old after a routine visit by officers led to the identification of a long-standing mistake by the Pension Service.

Cllr Brew, who will present his annual report to city councillors on November 1, said: “We recognise that times are tough at the moment for all citizens, but especially our most vulnerable - which means we have made a real effort to ensure that those with a legitimate benefits claim get all the money they are entitled to.

“As well as directly helping the households in question, the unlocked money offers the local economy a boost too. The more money people have in their pockets, the more they will spend, supporting businesses and services in Birmingham.”

Other benefits which form part of those claimed include Disability Living Allowance (£1.4million) and Income Support (£420,000).

Cllr Ayoub Khan, Cabinet Member for Local Services and Community Safety, whose portfolio covers the council staff working on these claims, added: “Helping the vulnerable in this way is extremely important, and it is something we will continue to do in future through the hard work and dedication of our benefits and debt advice teams.”

Ends

Notes to editors

A full breakdown of the unclaimed benefit is as follows:

Pension Credit - £2,042,124
Attendance Allowance - £2,171,424
Disability Living Allowance - £1,427,216
Council Tax Benefit - £594,328
Income Support - £420,231
Housing Benefit - £2,223,979
Carer's Allowance - £284,502
Employment and Support Allowance - £389,571
Other/grants - £655,171

TOTAL - £10,208,546

For more information contact Kris Kowalewski on 0121 303 3621

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