Boris Johnson urges Bexley pensioners not to miss out on £1,200 of benefits
PUBLISHED: 13:19 02 February 2016 | UPDATED: 13:28 02 February 2016
£470m goes unclaimed across the capital each year
Boris Johnson is urging pensioners in Bexley to check that they are receiving all the benefits they are entitled to.
The Greater London Authority estimates that around 200,000 older Londoners are living in poverty and one in three are missing out on pension credit worth an average of £23 a week, or £1,200 a year, simply because they are unaware they are eligible for it, or because they feel too embarrassed to make a claim.
This is money that can make a real difference, when it comes to being able to heat their homes during the winter months and budgeting for the weekly food shop.
Although the number of pensioners living in poverty in the capital has fallen by 100,000 in the last decade, older people in London are much more likely to be living in material deprivation than anywhere else in the country.
Nearly three times the proportion of pensioners living in inner London are unable to afford basics like having a warm winter coat, being able to keep their home damp free and having a regular haircut.
The Know Your Rights campaign, in association with Age UK, last year helped pensioners to claim an estimated £1.2 million in benefits that would have otherwise gone unclaimed.
The campaign aims to ensure older Londoners don’t miss out on the £470 million worth of benefits not being claimed each year, including pension credit and other benefits they could be eligible for.
The mayor said: “It is vital that older Londoners get all the support they are entitled to including pension credit, a benefit that will make a big difference to their lives, particularly during the cold winter months.
“I urge all pensioners across the capital to visit or call their local Age UK centre to seek advice and ensure they get all the benefits and support that they are eligible for.”