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Funding to support people to access benefits extended

Funding to support people to access benefits extended
17 March 2023

Funding to support Darlington residents to access millions of pounds of unclaimed benefits and support has been extended for another year.

The £30,000 of funding provided by Darlington Borough Council to the Citizens Advice Darlington, Redcar and Cleveland office helps to support the Benefit Entitlement Action Team (BEAT) who work with families and individuals of all backgrounds to navigate the benefits system and increase income where eligible.

In the last year, BEAT has worked on 471 individual cases for Darlington residents, identifying £1,876,000 of various benefits that were not being claimed.

BEAT can support with eligibility criteria and applications for a wide variety of claims, from pension credit and attendance allowance, to universal credit and employment support allowance.

In the last year, the team has returned to face to face sessions after the pandemic and is also holding outreach sessions at community events and venues.

Councillor Jonathan Dulston, leader of Darlington Borough Council, said: “There is a wide variety of support out there to help people on a low income and we’re continuing this funding to help make sure people can access it.

“It does no harm to check your eligibility and it could increase your monthly income. We know there are thousands of people in Darlington missing out on benefits they are entitled to, so please do contact Citizens Advice to find out more.”

Helen Howson, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Darlington office, said: “We know many Darlington residents are struggling with cost of living and there is help out there for people. Please do come and check what you may be missing out on.”

For more information on BEAT in Darlington and to access eligibility calculators visit the Citizens Advice Darlington website. [external website]

Drop in sessions are open to the public at the Citizens Advice office in The Core Building, Church Row, Darlington town centre, between 10am and noon, Monday to Friday.

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