Pensioners urged to claim full benefit entitlements

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More than 200,000 Scots aged over 65 – one in five – are finding life a struggle financially, according to a new research study.

Yet around a third of people entitled to pension credit are failing to claim what they’re due.

Age Scotland is calling for more action to tackle pensioner poverty and is urging older people to contact the Age Scotland Helpline to check they are claiming benefits to which they are entitled.

Keith Robson, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: “It’s simply unacceptable that one in five Scottish pensioners is struggling to get by and spending their retirement worrying about how to make ends meet.

“Yet despite so many pensioners struggling financially, around one in three people who are entitled to pension credit aren’t claiming it.

“Many older people don’t like to admit they are worried about money and aren’t aware of the help that’s available. This extra income could make a real difference.”

The latest Scottish and UK Government figures show that at least 60,000 pensioners are living in ‘material deprivation’. This means they cannot afford basic expenses, such as paying regular bills, replacing a cooker, or keeping their homes warm and damp-free.

Last year the number of pensioners in Scotland living below the poverty line rose to 158,000 (16 per cent).

Age Scotland is urging any older person facing financial difficulties to call its free helpline on 0800 12 44 222 for advice.