Council team claims millions for those who need it most
TEN million poundsâ¦
That’s how much a Liverpool City Council service is on target to bring in to help struggling individuals and families in the city this financial year.
The 17-strong members of the Benefit Maximisation Service have worked tirelessly to help local residents claim back the eight figure sum over the past 12 months.
The team specialises in helping people claim everything they are entitled to. The support they offer can be anything from a comprehensive benefit check through to organising urgent assistance for those in financial crisis.
Working in partnership with other council departments and partners such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, the team also provides support in helping local people to challenge decisions by the Department of Work and Pensions, including representing them at tribunal.
Contact with the Benefits Maximisation Team usually starts with a phone call but can have a transformational effect on people’s personal circumstances.
As well as doing business over the phone team members are also out and about around the city, visiting residents to assess their needs.
It’s a service that’s very much in demand. By the end of February team members had completed 4,500 benefits checks, which has netted the £9.4M and helped around 2,000 people. By March 31 it is anticipated the team will have topped the ten mill.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “This is an amazing result for the Benefit Maximisation Service. The team has helped thousands of people, many of whom are in dire financial circumstances. The impact of the work of the team on the lives of people is significant – it has helped to keep food on the table and a roof over people’s heads.”
Mayor Anderson added: “In an ideal world the Benefits Maximisation Service wouldn’t exist but given we live in an environment where money is extremely tight and many people struggle to make ends meet, it’s a good thing the service is here to support them.”
Residents of Liverpool can ask for a benefits check by using the on-line form at liverpool.gov.uk/bms or by calling 0800 028 3697.