IN response to your anonymous correspondent in the Observer of January 4 (letter headed ‘Welcome to Old Age’), I would urge him or her, and any others in a similar position to contact the Pension Credit Helpline on 0800 991234. They may find they are entitled to additional financial help, if they meet certain criteria.
The Helpline can assist through completing an application form, which will then be sent to them for checking and signing.
If they are entitled to Pension Credit they will automatically receive Housing Benefit to cover most or all of their rent and to Council Tax Benefit.
If they are having problems meeting heating bills, as in the case of your correspondent, he or she can contact their power supplier and ask for details of its Warm Home Discount, or contact Home Heat Helpline on 0800 336699 for more assistance.
Hundreds of millions of pounds of benefits are unclaimed every year by people fully entitled to them.
I would suggest your readers visit the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) website at www.adviceguide.org.uk and/or www.turn2us.org.uk to see what financial assistance they may be entitled to that they may not be aware of.
If they do not have a computer, or do not have a friend or relative with one, they can try their local library or visit the CAB in Renaissance House, London Road, St Leonards or call Age UK for an appointment on 01424 426162.
It all may take a bit of time, but must be worth finding out if they are entitled to any extra financial support, especially if they are in the situation your correspondent appears to be in.
Hope this may be helpful.
I D Tomisson