Targeted support for older people
We run campaigns to help people over pension age (66 and over) claim the benefits that they may be entitled to. Our TV licence campaign helped older people qualify for Pension Credit to access a free TV licence under the new rules.
Helping over 75s with benefits
We want to ensure that older people in County Durham receive all the welfare benefits they are entitled to. We do this by writing to residents who are aged over 75 and receive Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction inviting them to contact us for a free, confidential benefit check.
We can give advice about disability benefits, such as Attendance Allowance, which you may be able to claim if you have difficulties with daily living activities (not including domestic duties). We will also check for means-tested benefits such as Pension Credit.
With your permission, we are happy to speak with friends or relatives on your behalf. You may not wish to disclose your income over the telephone, but we can still help you with some advice.
Since 2018 we have sent out 7,331 letters, advised 3,617 residents, and raised over £10 million in previously unclaimed benefits.
We will be writing to more residents this year. If you have not received a letter from us, but are over Pension Age and would like advice about benefits, please contact us.
Good news stories
Council tax reduction
Mr and Mrs D got in touch after watching the Martin Lewis TV show which mentioned Council Tax Reduction. Mrs D was already getting Attendance Allowance but by counting Mr D as a Carer, they could qualify for Council Tax Reduction of £7.50 per week. They are now better off by £390 per year.
Mrs H received our letter and her daughter contacted us. Mrs H had started to use a stairlift and some disability aids to help her in the home. We helped her to claim Attendance Allowance worth £89 per week and this led to an increase in her Pension Credit and other benefits worth £64 per week.
Mrs R wrote:
"I followed up on an advert in a 'Durham' leaflet and Rachel was excellent at explaining the system of allowances that my parents may be able to claim ... quite a minefield of possibilities that were completely unknown to us as a family. Her expertise and advice assisted us with an attendance allowance claim for my Mam"
Mr J wrote:
"I would like to advise you of the excellent service I have received from Val who went above and beyond to provide my mother with all the advice she asked for and some she had not thought to ask about. We have been blown away by her dedication and support".
Pension credit TV licence campaign
In 2020, there was a change to the TV licence rules. People over 75 now only qualify for a free TV licence if they receive Pension Credit. Using the council's records, we contacted people who may have qualified. We assisted 80 people to make a successful benefit claim, and the total amount of money paid was over £140,000. These households then got a free TV licence.
Care connect campaign
In April 2022 we sent another leaflet to care connect service users, and have responded to a large number of enquiries from customers.
- Welfare Rights
- 03000 268 968
Our address is:
- Revenues and Benefits
- PO Box 254
- County Durham
- United Kingdom
- DH8 1GG