Link’s award-winning Older Person’s Advice Project has raised more than £3.2 million in benefit income since its launch in 2005.
The service has provided a lifeline to more than 1800 people over the age of 60 living in 22 local authority areas of Scotland. Many of those who have used the free, confidential service were unaware of their full benefit entitlement before receiving help and advice from OPAP’s skilled advisors.
Link’s Advice Team Co-ordinator Rhona Penman said: “We established OPAP because benefit under-claiming is a major issue with severe implications for the health and well being of older people. The cost of living is increasing, particularly because of rising food and fuel costs, making it harder for pensioners to make ends meet. Despite this, it is estimated that as much as £150m of benefit remains unclaimed by older social housing tenants every year.
“Our results show that we have made a real difference to the lives of some over 60s, who for reasons such as the complexity of the benefits system or the feeling that they are ‘getting by’, were previously not claiming their full entitlement.”
To find out more about OPAP and hear a podcast about it, visit the Link website.