Welfare rights team secures residents a benefits windfall

North Lanarkshire Council is helping local people claim benefits
North Lanarkshire Council is helping local people claim benefits

North Lanarkshire Council’s welfare rights team has secured £28.6m in additional benefits for residents.

The announcement follows a major campaign to reach service users who may not have been claiming all they were entitled to and the total claimed during 2013/14 represents a £3m (11.7 per cent) increase over 2012/13.

Financial inclusion manager, John Campbell said: “Welfare rights forms an integral part of our approach to social inclusion.

“Despite efforts at reform, the complexity of the benefits system means that many people are not getting the benefits they are entitled to.

“Successful welfare rights interventions, in which individuals are awarded extra benefit, often result in them becoming better able to manage their own affairs.”

In addition to benefit checks, the welfare rights service can provide users with representation at appeals and tribunals, with a success rate of 65 per cent in Social Security Appeal Tribunals last year.