In the UK, around £19bn in benefits are left unclaimed by those who are entitled to them each year, with almost £6bn of this unclaimed by elderly people. Whilst some older people may still feel that claiming any form of government assistance carries some kind of social stigma, this isn’t really the case in this day and age.
For the most part, people on low incomes fail to claim what they are entitled for through ignorance. You can’t claim what you don’t know about after all; but the idea of the welfare system is to help and protect some of our most vulnerable members of society, who might otherwise suffer ill health through poverty.
Take the Affordable Warmth Scheme, for example, how many people know that they may qualify to get a replacement, energy-efficient boiler, along with insulation for their walls and loft space?
Not too many, I wouldn’t have thought, it doesn’t seem to have been advertised in a widespread manner by the government.