Muckhart Village from Seamab

Tackling pensioner poverty in Clackmannanshire

Age Scotland: Our campaign to tackle pensioner poverty and boost social security uptake

Across Scotland, 150,000 pensioners live in relative poverty. Of them, 120,000 live in persistent poverty. This has remained stubbornly high for a number of years.

While there are a range of social security payments available to help older people, hundreds of millions of pounds of financial support goes unclaimed in Scotland every year.

Pension Credit is one of the most underclaimed means of social security support for older people. It is estimated that 40% of eligible pensioners on low incomes are missing out. That means £332m of financial support is going unclaimed by 123,000 older households in Scotland.

We estimate that 790 older people in Clackmannanshire are missing out on the Pension Credit they are entitled to.

But it’s not just Pension Credit which older people are missing out on. Around £93m of Council Tax Reduction went unclaimed by them across Scotland in 2020-21. Attendance Allowance for older people with a disability, Carer’s Allowance, and support for energy bills would make a real difference to financial wellbeing if everyone who was eligible received them.

There are many reasons why people are missing out on what they are entitled to, such as a lack of awareness of what is available to them, stigma, inaccessibility, not knowing where to turn for support, or feeling that they are “coping” without it.

Age Scotland’s latest campaign aims to raise awareness of the social security available to older people and to support them to claim what they are entitled to. It’s called “Check in, Cash out”.

We’re encouraging older people to check in with Age Scotland’s free and confidential 0800 12 44 222 helpline to find out what they may be entitled to, use our free information guides, and attend our benefits awareness sessions.

Age Scotland’s helpline identified more than £600,000 in unclaimed social security for older people last year but that is clearly just the tip of the iceberg.

Best wishes

Adam
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Adam Stachura
Head of Policy and Communications
Age Scotland

adam.stachura@agescotland.org.uk

About Age Scotland 
Age Scotland, part of the UK-wide Age Network, is an independent charity dedicated to ensuring that older people in Scotland get the support and opportunities they need to be able to enjoy a better later life.

Website: www.agescotland.org.uk    Switchboard: 0333 323 2400
Email:  info@agescotland.org.uk

Age Scotland is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in Scotland.  Reg No: 153343, Charity No: SC010100.  Registered Office: Causewayside House, 160 Causewayside, Edinburgh EH9 1PR.

About Mike Wilson