£1million extra for Dungannon’s vulnerable through benefit uptake programme


Over £1million in additional benefits has been paid to Dungannon people who were not claiming money to which they were entitled from the government.

The Department of Social Development [DSD] today revealed to the Times that 263 people now have more money to spend than they did last year thanks to its Benefit Uptake programme.

In total £1,051,932 was paid out - money that had before gone unclaimed.

In Cookstown a further 85 people gained an additional £280,275, while in Magherafelt £407,000 was paid to another 106 vulnerable people.

DSD Minister Mervyn Storey said that in total, 4,702 people across Northern Ireland gained an additional £15.9m in benefits they were entitled to, but not claiming.

Since 2005, the benefit uptake programme has generated nearly £100m of additional income for people in Northern Ireland.

Minister Storey said: “This is the second year of my Department’s Benefit Uptake Programme which is tailored to ensure that people in Northern Ireland receive all the benefits they are entitled to.

“The results are impressive; not only are thousands of people receiving extra help with their household bills, but this additional £16m also benefits our economy with people spending the extra cash in their local communities.

“I am delighted with the continued success of this programme. My Department had set a three year target to ensure that £30m in additional benefits was claimed by our customers by March 2016. Not only has this target been met, but it has been exceeded already with £30.1m being claimed by 8,968 people since the programme began in 2013.”

For more information on benefit uptake programmes, visit: http://www.nidirect.gov.uk/index/information-and-services/money-tax-and-benefits/benefits-and-financial-support/unclaimed-benefits.htm