£16.9m Received In New Benefits

Nearly 5,000 people have received a total of nearly £16.9m in new and additional social security benefits, according to the Department for Social Development.

The Department's Benefit Uptake Programme has seen an increase in outcomes from last year of nearly £4m.

During a visit to the Pension Centre in Londonderry, Minister Nelson McCausland spoke of the growing success of his Benefit Uptake Programme.

"It is always important that we ensure that people who are entitled to benefits receive them," he said.

"The fact that we have managed to secure nearly an additional £17million this year for people in need in Northern Ireland, is very encouraging indeed. Local people mainly aged 60 and over who benefited from the benefit uptake programme last year, were better off by an average of £65 per week. I am committed to making sure that our efforts in this area continue and grow, and I am confident of even greater success going forward."

"I call on people, in any and all circumstances, to come forward and find out if they are entitled to any additional benefits. That is why I have reinvested in a fresh Make the Call advertising campaign to help people recognise their needs, check their potential entitlements and to make a claim for financial or other help.

"The Make the Call campaign will again include television, newspaper and outdoor advertisements, encouraging people in a range of circumstances, including older people and those looking after them, to ring a dedicated freephone benefit advice Line - 0800 232 1271. The advice line is manned by friendly and experienced advisors who can provide information about what benefits they may be entitled to and to arrange help with making a claim where it is needed."

The Commissioner for Older People for Northern Ireland, Claire Keatinge, has again agreed to support the campaign.

"Increased numbers of older people applying for, and receiving the benefits they are rightfully entitled to, is very good news. I welcome the efforts of DSD to increase benefit take up by older people – and I will continue to support the 'Make the Call' campaign so that more and more older people and those looking after them receive the money that they should.

"Too many older people still live on incomes that make it difficult to get by. This can cause constant worry and can make it difficult for older people to keep warm, keep well and join in with all the family and community activities they wish to."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

03 May 2022
Alliance Condemns Banner Smear Campaign
The Alliance Party has condemned banners that have appeared in Bangor and Newtownards linking the party to the IRA.
25 April 2022
New Civil Service Recruitment Campaign Launched
The Civil Service has announced the launch of a new recruitment campaign, for middle managers at Deputy Principal grade. The roles offer a starting salary of £39,748 per annum and an attractive benefits package. Deputy Principals play an important role in developing and delivering key areas of government policy.
28 April 2022
Lidl To Offer Further Enhanced Benefits Package
Lidl Northern Ireland has announces that it is enhancing its industry-leading benefits package by offering enhanced fertility support. The new supports include paid time off to any of its 1,300 employees undergoing IVF, regardless of length of service.
05 May 2022
Voters Urged To Reflect On 'How Govt Has Worked Over Last Five Years'
Voters have been urged to "seriously reflect on how government has worked over the past five years", by SDLP leader Colum Eastwood.
03 December 2012
Older People Urged To Inquire Over Benefits
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland has urged older people to find out whether or not they are missing out on benefits to which they are entitled. The 'Make the Call' campaign, which includes television, newspaper and outdoor advertisements, encourages older people to ring the telephone advice Line on 0800 232 1271.