Don’t miss out on funding aid

NORTHUMBERLAND’S disabled elderly people will be urged not to miss out on potential funding support in a new campaign.

Age UK has been awarded an extra £6,000 from the county council towards a project which will support volunteers and service providers to understand how to identify and help people who may be eligible for a non-means-tested benefit.

It will include developing volunteers to become Attendance Allowance promoters, who will encourage disabled residents aged 65 and over to claim their entitlements, as well as help them to fill in forms and signpost them to relevant agencies.

Fewer people than expected claim this benefit in Northumberland and the council has given the issue high priority after discovering that numbers were falling.

Although the trend has now been reversed, there are a significant number of people still not claiming the allowance.

Council Executive Member for Adult Care and Well-being Ian Lindley said: “We believe that the quality of all our lives depends on the links we have with the community in which we live and we will ensure our older people are part of their community.

“Disability or ill health often makes this difficult and can mean that older people face higher costs if they can no longer do certain things for themselves.

“It is vital to stress that the Attendance Allowance is available to everyone who needs it, regardless of their income or savings, and this project will enable our older people to access the funding which will enable them to make lifestyle choices.”

Although this is a disability benefit, you do not need to be registered as disabled or be receiving help from social services to qualify.

For more information, telephone the Age UK Northumberland advice line on 08450 950150 or 01665 605707 from Monday to Thursday, between 10am and 1pm, or make an appointment at a Citizens’ Advice Bureau.