Residents of south Bristol have another opportunity to talk with local money experts to check they are receiving all their financial entitlements, when MP Karin Smyth organises the latest of her free one-stop-shop community events at The Park, Daventry Road, Knowle, from 10.30 am – 12.30 pm on Friday 24 March.
The Labour MP’s research shows that around £16 million per year in Pension Credit, and upwards of £20 million in Income Support, goes unclaimed by Bristol residents each year.
It will be the fourth time so far that Karin Smyth has organised a one-stop shop event to help people she represents in Bristol South check they are not missing out.
Karin Smyth said: “Many people rightly claim what they are entitled to, but some miss out, so I am again bringing together a number of Bristol’s financial specialists to give first hand advice and information to local people. It’s only fair that if you work hard and contribute to society, through taxes and other means, the system is then there for you when you need it.”
Organisations including Bristol Citizens Advice, South Bristol Advice Services, the Department for Work and Pensions, Care and Repair and Bristol City Council’s Welfare Rights & Money Advice Service will be present. They will help guide people through the processes necessary to claim what’s theirs.
The charity Age UK calculates that nationally up to £3.7 billion goes unclaimed by older people each year and whilst the primary focus of the event will be older people, all will be welcome. Attending organisations will have separate tables in a market-style layout in the main hall.
“Sometimes people are not fully aware of what they should be able to receive, and when the rules and regulations change, as they often do, it can be really difficult to keep on top of things,” says Karin Smyth. “And when you are having a hard time financially it feels so much harder to navigate the paperwork.
“Similar previous events I’ve organised have highlighted the need so I’m pleased to give another free opportunity to the people I represent.
“Staggering amounts are involved, and what makes this even more striking is that it’s money that people are eligible to receive. If this was rightly claimed, just think what it could do to help the lives of those who are entitled to it. Think too of the positive impact on the local economy when people spend it.”