Help is here if you want to check on your claim

FREE ADVICE: Alison Thorold, of Spalding Age UK, with Trevor Thorold. SG231013-223NG

FREE ADVICE: Alison Thorold, of Spalding Age UK, with Trevor Thorold. SG231013-223NG

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Families taking home up to £32,200 a year could be among those failing to claim South Holland’s missing millions in benefits.

It’s estimated £100million goes unclaimed by people in Lincolnshire whether they are working, jobless or retired.

Divide that across the seven district authorities and it means around £14.2million is lost to South Holland families and the local economy.

Pensioners are believed to be the biggest group missing out because they are daunted by huge forms and embarrassed to reveal personal information.

But working parents with young children may also fail to claim their dues because they don’t know there is help available.

John Willoughby, strategic manager of South Holland Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB), says one example of help for parents is child tax credit.

Parents with one child and a household income up to £26,000 will be able to claim – as can parents with two children and a household income up to £32,200.

South Holland’s CAB saw a seven per cent surge in new clients in the last quarter compared to April-June and the two big issues were benefits and personal debt.

Attendance allowance is a non means-tested benefit that pensioners are typically not claiming and it helps people who need assistance with things like personal care, medication and dementia.

Mr Willoughby said the claim form runs to something like 30 pages and asks personal questions, including ones about bodily functions and going to the toilet.

He said: “People could be deterred from completing the form because of the length of it and because of the intrusive nature of some of the questions being asked.”