NEWCASTLE area SDLP Councillor Eamonn ONeill has spoken out and encouraged those in the area to check their entitlement as many could be entitled to financial assistance and they are unaware.
Councillor ONeill said: “There is assistance out there for those who are stuggling and also for those who are of a certain age.
Lone Pensioner Allowance is a benefit for pensioners who are over 70 years of age, who live alone and own their own home. This benefit is not means tested so essentially anyone who meets the above criteria can apply – it can lead to a 20% reduction in your rates bill.
“People on low incomes may also be entitled to assistance with rates. You could be entitled to Housing Benefit to cover your rates if you have savings of less than £16,000 or you are on a low income or are claiming Pension Credit.
“There is also assistance available with your rates if someone in your home is disabled and adaptations have been made to the property. If you are a carer you also may be entitled to help with your rates.
“Times are tough for everyone so any assistance that is available – you should avail of it. For information on any of these benefits please contact the Castlewellan SDLP Office at 028 437 78833.”