Over £2.5million claimed locally thanks to Make The Call
March 4, 2019
During 2017/2018, over £2.5million in additional benefits were claimed by individuals in Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council area as a direct result of the Department for Communities Make the Call campaign.
The latest figures demonstrate the success of Make the Call at a local level, with a total of 510 individuals awarded benefits, supports or services following a needs assessment that took place during 2017/2018.
The Mayor, Councillor Uel Mackin and Alderman William Leathem, Chairman of the Development Committee have championed the uptake of benefits since 2012, when they led a pilot programme in the Downshire area with the former Department for Social Development. The objective of the project was to inform and ensure people about all of the Social Security benefits that they and their families are entitled to and to encourage them to make a claim.
The Mayor, Councillor Mackin, said: “We know that many people don’t always realise what changes to their circumstances can mean for their benefit entitlement. Major life changes, like taking on caring responsibilities, illness or disability, retirement or bereavement can all impact the range of benefits people are entitled to and, sadly, many of our residents have continued to struggle without the support they need.”
Chairman of the Development Committee, Alderman Leathem, said: “The Make the Call campaign has been a huge success. Every pound generated has helped improve someone’s life. We’re continuing to promote the campaign so local people get the support they need and deserve.
“We would like to thank the Department for Communities Outreach Officers who have worked in the Lisburn and Castlereagh area to provide educational awareness on this subject. We also express our thanks to the many other community and voluntary groups who have so willingly been involved.”
Since 2005, £174.1million in additional benefits have been generated for 46,144 people across Northern Ireland, many of whom are vulnerable through age, disability, illness or adverse circumstances.
The Make the Call 0800 232 1271 line allows individuals to call and receive a free and confidential needs assessment, as well as advice on other government supports and services like the Blue Badge scheme.