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Falkirk Council to offer financial help to residents

Falkirk Council’s offering guidance to help people get the benefits they’re entitled to.

Help will be available all week at Grangemouth’s Advice and Support Hub in York Place, as part of the local authority’s ‘Fairer Money Week’.

The event will feature a number of support organisations and agencies who can offer free and confidential one to one support and advice on a wide range of issues including reducing energy costs; welfare and benefits entitlements; debt advice; affordable credit; savings and directing visitors to other bodies that can help.

Estimates compiled by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) show that around £428m worth of unclaimed working tax credits or child tax credits, £190m in carers allowance, £210m of pension credit and £251m of housing benefit remains unclaimed in Scotland.

Participants throughout the week  include Falkirk Council’s debt and welfare advice team; Home Energy Scotland; Citizens Advice Scotland; Falkirk and District Credit Union and Conduit Scotland– a not for profit responsible lender who run a shop in Falkirk.

Staff will also be on hand to point visitors to Falkirk Council’s Benefits Calculator – a free online service that can give you an estimate of what money you may be entitled to (www.falkirk.gov.uk/benefithelp).

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “Many families and individuals continue to struggle with real financial hardships and are actually unaware of the millions of pounds of unclaimed every year in Scotland.

“The Fairer Money Week is designed to bring people in to speak with trained advisers who can point them in the right direction and show them how they can boost their income especially in the run up to Christmas. They can also receive free advice on making savings with their energy bills as well as whole range of advice and support.

“The advice is free and confidential however if you cannot make it to the Grangemouth Advice and Support Hub you can use our online Benefits Calculator (www.falkirk.gov.uk/benefithelp) to find out how much you may be entitled to.”

Appointments are not required for visitors however it may be necessary to book a return appointment if applications etc cannot be made on the same day.

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