Advice generates an extra £35m in benefits

Services help people maximise their income

Benefits

More than £35 million in additional benefits has been generated for residents by our advice services.

A total of £35,368,140 was awarded to local residents in 2018/19 following advice and support from housing and social work services staff, the Financial Inclusion Service and from Macmillan Lanarkshire Service, which helps people affected by cancer.

Staff provide advice on eligibility for the full range of benefits and represent people at tribunals and appeal hearings.

"The benefits system is complex and, for many people, it can be very difficult to find out which benefits they are entitled to and how to apply, so the advice our staff provides is vital," said Lizanne McMurrich, Head of Communities.

"We will make sure residents are receiving all the benefits they're eligible for to maximize their income as well as offering advice on managing money and debt. The additional £35 million generated for people means an improved quality of life for residents, more money being spent in the local economy and a reduction in poverty.

"For every £1 the council invests in advice services, £31.58 is generated for residents and the local economy."

Staff offering advice services are supported by our Financial Inclusion Service which provides updates on changes in the benefits system, developments in welfare reform and training to ensure staff have all the up-to-date knowledge and skills.

A further £5,736,534 was raised by Citizens Advice Bureau across North Lanarkshire which are funded by the council to provide local advice services.

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