By Amanda Eleftheriades, Editor
Every year billions of pounds of benefits which should be helping people on the lowest incomes, goes unclaimed.
In 2020 the online benefits calculator service, entitledto, estimated a staggering +£15billion a year was not being claimed.
This included nearly £2.5million of child tax credits, over £2.5million of working tax credits, £2.6million council tax support and £2.8million housing benefit.
These statistics were all taken from pre-pandemic data. With less face-to-face support and confusion over pandemic financial aid, these numbers could now be higher.
Community Response Network
In March 2020 Clydesider set up a Community Response Network for local support organisations, charities and community groups to stay connected throughout lockdowns.
Through this network we heard how more people – both employed and unemployed – were accessing foodbanks because they couldn’t afford the spiralling costs of living.
We also heard how WD Citizens Advice Bureau and other welfare support services were inundated with calls for help.
So, we are launching our first Clydesider campaign – Claim What’s Yours.
Throughout 2022/ 2023 we will use the magazine and our social media to challenge the negative stereotypes and stigma associated with benefits by some traditional media outlets.
We will share information and advice from local community organisations and, with our readers’ help, we hope to encourage more people from West Dunbartonshire to claim every penny they are entitled to.
We are doing this because we believe, in the third decade of the 21st century there should not be a child in our community going to bed hungry; there shouldn’t be a pensioner keeping warm with hot water bottles or a parent choosing their child’s clothes from a school uniform bank.
Please Join Us in Our Campaign for Change
- Approximately 35,000 (37%) people in WD have first-hand experience of deprivation
- Full-time workers in WD earn £200 per month less, on average, than the rest of Scotland
- West Dunbartonshire’s Information and Advice Partnership supported 8,193 people to claim £20million of financial aid in 2019/20
- 23% of households in WD are in receipt of out-of- work benefits
- In 2019 31% of children in WD lived in poverty after housing costs were included
- 2,526 families in WD received support to maximise income and manage debts in 2019/20
ENTITLED TO – free online benefits calculator blog about coronavirus and benefits