Over 200,000 over-65s in Scotland are struggling financially, according to new research for Age Scotland.
The charity said despite one in five pensioners struggling, an estimated £292 million in Pension Credit and Housing Benefit is going unclaimed each year.
With 158,000 pensioners now living below the poverty line the organisation is urging older people to get in touch to find out if they’re entitled to extra financial support.
The UK government’s latest figures show that one in 10 people aged 65+ would not be able to pay an unexpected expense of £200, to replace a broken washing machine for example.
Yet hundreds of thousands of older people who are struggling to survive on a low income could be entitled to benefits such as Pension Credit, which has slightly increased this month and could provide a much-needed boost to their weekly income if claimed.
If those who are eligible for Pension Credit make a claim, it could increase their income by an average of £42 a week – or £2,184 a year.
Keith Robson, chief executive at Age Scotland, said: “Managing on a low, fixed income is really tough, and many people face a daily struggle just to afford the basics. That’s why is it so important that every older person who is entitled to claim benefits does so.
“Every day Age UK helps people to claim what they are entitled to, and every day we hear how much of a difference the money makes, how surprised people are by how straightforward the process is with the help of an adviser, and how much less they have to worry about everyday bills.”
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