Wigan residents 'better off' due to council's proactive approach

Thousands of Wigan borough residents have received additional financial support this year thanks to a proactive approach by Wigan Council in response to the cost-of-living crisis, it was claimed today.
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As part of its Here For You cost of living campaign, the local authority’s data and welfare teams have worked together to identify residents who may be eligible for benefits, but who haven’t yet claimed.

The approach is designed to break down any barriers to claiming to support Wigan borough’s welfare offer.

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Coun Susan GamblesCoun Susan Gambles
Coun Susan Gambles
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The project, which has generated an additional £1.1m income since launching in June 2023, has been so successful that it’s been nominated for a national award.

Coun Susan Gambles, cabinet member for welfare at Wigan Council, said:

“I’d like to thank our staff who have worked incredibly hard to ensure our residents get what they’re entitled to, in what is a particularly difficult time for many.

"Sadly, the cost-of-living crisis doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon, but there are ways we can help residents to maximise their income through accessing the household support fund or accessing other help and advice.

“We know accessing financial support can be a bit of a minefield and can feel daunting for first time claimant. Our officers are here to help and will support you every step of the way so please get in touch to see how we can help.”

It is estimated there is around £18.7bn worth of unclaimed benefit across the UK, and that approximately £3.8bn of that is funding which local authorities administer.

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In Wigan borough alone it is estimated there is £8.8m of unclaimed Pension Credit.

The project has been shortlisted for an iNetwork Innovation Award in the iStandUK category, which recognises public sector organisations that demonstrate innovation and achievement in the effective use of data and information standards to improve services. Winners will be announced on March 7.

To find out what support is available, visit www.wigan.gov.uk/hereforyou, email [email protected] or ring 01942 705221.

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