Welfare benefits campaign receives cross party support
MPs from across the political divide have come out in support of a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of unclaimed welfare benefits.
The #BenefitsAware Campaign, launched last week by national charity Turn2us, is highlighting the extent to which people on low incomes are missing out on help that they could be entitled to.
The campaign has attracted support from all of the main political parties, with MPs endorsing the campaign at a special event in the Houses of Parliament, held on Thursday 19 May.
Research from the charity has revealed that 48% of low income households are not claiming support that they could be eligible for, with nearly three-fifths (57%) of those admitting they have been deterred from checking or claiming potential benefits entitlements because they did not think they would be eligible.
The charity provides a range of resources for those in financial need, including a benefits calculator at Turn2us.org.uk where people can find out what they are entitled to, how much they could receive and how to claim.
Simon Hopkins, Chief Executive of Turn2us, commented: “We’re delighted to receive this support for our campaign to ensure that those struggling financially are aware of what is available to them. Each year an estimated £15bn in welfare benefits and tax credits goes unclaimed.*
“Two thirds (66%) of those we surveyed said that they would not consider checking their benefit entitlement if their income dropped; yet 37% say that they would cut back on energy or other essentials and 30% would resort to cutting back on food. This campaign is all about making sure that people are aware of the practical support that’s available that could make a real difference to their lives.”
Earlier this week the charity published a poll of MPs showing three-quarters of MPs had previously claimed some form of welfare benefits and nearly one third (29%) had claimed Job Seekers Allowance or other unemployment benefits in the past. The figures were realised by the charity to highlight the fact that anyone could need support at any time in their lives.
“I think many people would be surprised to hear that nearly a third of MPs have claimed unemployment benefits. Our research really reinforces that absolutely anyone could find themselves in need of support.” added Simon Hopkins.
For more information about the campaign, please visit Turn2us.org.uk/BenefitsAware.