Christmas can be a very expensive time of year, not only buying presents, but also paying for the inevitable larger heating bills. We are keen to ensure that everyone we’re in contact with is claiming all the benefits that they are eligible for. If you are in receipt of any support at home and are state pension age you should be claiming the Attendence Allowance. You can call your local Citizens Advice Bureau for further information and to be sent the relevant application form. We only learnt recently that if you or someone you are living with has a dementia diagnosis you may be eligible for a reduction on your Council Tax. Contact your local council office for more information or get advice from the National Dementia Helpline on 0300 222 1122. If you or someone you are living with is providing a carer role for more than 35 hours a week they can claim a carer allowance, or a carer’s credit if providing more than 20 hours a week.
You can claim benefits either by filling in the relevant forms yourself and sending them in the post, or phoning a contact centre where an adviser will complete the form and send it to you to sign and return. Some benefits can be claimed by completing an online form on the gov.uk website. Even if you don’t have all the information you need you should not delay making a claim. Some benefits can start on the day you first make contact to say you want to claim the benefit, whether you do this in person, by letter or by phone. You will usually need to send in your claim form as soon as possible. If you’re required to send evidence you don’t yet have, such as a letter from your doctor, explain on the form that you will send it later. Some benefits can be backdated (where you can claim for an earlier period) if you were eligible before you made the claim. However you will usually need to ask for this to happen.
If you think we can be helpful in anyway please do not hesitate to pick up the phone. We might not have the answer ourselves but we are always happy to talk and will help by signposting you on to the right place
In the meantime we wish you a very happy and healthy Christmas.