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£15bn of means-tested benefits going unclaimed

As much as £15bn of means-tested benefits are going unclaimed, the Financial Times reports. In a free-to-read column*, the paper’s influential consumer editor Claer Barrett says the statistic is ‘deeply worrying’ with many households facing a ‘cost of living catastrophe’.

Simply unaware

The main problem is that the system is too complicated. Large groups are simply unaware that help exists.

But Ms Barrett links this to a second major issue: digital exclusion. She quotes communications regulator Ofcom saying that 11 per cent of lower-income households aren’t online rising to 18 per cent for over-65s.

Poverty support charities such as Turn2Us are helping more and more people get the support they deserve and need. They offer a free benefits calculator (online!)

‘The confusing morass of the benefits system’

At CAEE one of our most important services is helping people through what Claer Barrett calls ‘the confusing morass of the benefits system’. In the past year local demand has been growing from high pandemic levels (chart below).

Consistently among the subjects most frequently raised by people seeking our help.

We provide detailed information online (!) but will always arrange a face-to face appointment or give advice by phone: free Adviceline 0808 278 7963.

* As living costs soar, end the £15bn benefits scandal, Claer Barrett, Financial Times, 16/04/22

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