Wednesday, 24 September 2008
Thousands to lose out - if they don't act quickly
The government is making a little noticed change to the rules on benefits which will mean that, as of 6 October, the backdating period for certain benefits will be cut to three months from 12. That means some people, particularly pensioners, will get considerably less of what they are entitled to. I was talking to colleagues the other day about Liverpool City Council's Benefit Maximisation Team. They work with people who either don't know they are entitled to certain benefits - like pensions credit - or who are reluctant to claim even though they could be better off. The team have helped people claim collectively huge amounts and are keen to help even more. But actually any claims going in from 6 October will automatically qualify for less because of the change. What this means is that anyone who is thinking of making a claim, or who has a relative who they want to encourage to make a claim, should so do now rather than later. This is a link to a story about the changes in yesterdays national press. One of the Lib Dem MPs, Lynne Featherstone, has asked some questions about this and it seems the government is going to make quite some savings! And at a time when the cost of living is hitting people particularly hard too.