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Unclaimed benefits

The DWP has just published some astonishing figures revealing the level of welfare benefits which are available but not claimed. They have calculated that there are benefits worth £14 – 15 billion a year to which people are entitled but the benefits are not claimed.

  • Up to 1.3 million people are not claiming Housing Benefit worth £4.1 billion.
  • Up to 3.2 million people are not claiming Council tax benefit of £2.4 billion.
  • Up to 1.4 million people are not claiming Pension Credit worth £3.26 million.
  • Up to 820,000 people are not claiming Jobseekers’ Allowance worth £2.62 billion.
  • Up to 650,000 people are not claiming Income Support and ESA worth about £3 billion.

Various reasons are given for not claiming benefits:

  • The complexity of the benefits system;
  • Shame at claiming public funds;
  • Lack of awareness that the benefit is available;
  • Incorrect advice received;
  • Previous bad experience of the benefits system, and
  • Online access required to claim.

There are countless media reports of the size of the welfare budget, with claimants described as scroungers. These figures show that there are an alarmingly large number of people who are struggling on very little money and who are not receiving the help that they are entitled to.