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Talk Money Week – how Age Scotland’s social security workshops are breaking down barriers

Published on 09 November 2021 09:49 AM

Money can often feel like a taboo subject and if you find it hard to talk about, you’re certainly not alone.

That’s why every year, the Money and Pensions Service host Talk Money Week - encouraging people to open up about their finances to improve confidence, resilience and wellbeing.

There’s an even more deep-rooted stigma around talking about claiming social security entitlements. At Age Scotland, we’re helping break down barriers which may prevent older people from claiming through our Check in, Cash out campaign and social security workshops.

Talking openly about your finances and seeking help when you need it can make a real difference – you may even discover that you’re entitled to more support than you thought.

Social security workshops

Age Scotland’s 2-hour online workshops, funded by the Yorkshire Building Society, offer an accessible guide to social security for those over state pension age and their carers, providing understanding of the support available and how best to go about accessing it.

As part of the sessions, we also address reasons why some may feel reluctant to take steps to unlock their entitlements in the first instance and how we might be able to break down those barriers to help encourage further uptake of this support in future.

Attendance Allowance workshops

Our ‘Attendance Allowance: Completing the form’ workshops aim to make applying for Attendance Allowance less daunting, as we know the complicated application process can put many potential applicants off – especially if they don’t have anyone to turn to for advice.

These sessions are open to anyone completing forms for themselves, or on behalf of family members or friends, but may also be useful for professionals from organisations such as charities, housing associations and councils.

The sessions break the form down into manageable sections; describe the criteria used by decision makers; look at ways to evidence care needs; demonstrate simple and effective ways to answer questions; and address what to do if something goes wrong.

Impact of our workshops

We’re delighted that this training is making a real difference to older people and their carers across Scotland, helping them feel better prepared when it comes to handling social security entitlements and confident that they’re not missing out on support.

Don’t just take our word for it though. Here’s some feedback we have received from previous workshop attendees:

I felt very relaxed during the training – the small number of participants allowed for questions to be asked. I liked that the trainer presented the training in a non-jargon, easy to understand way.

I would recommend that everyone should be given this information as I believe very few folk actually know what they are entitled to, and it’s information that people have a right to be given. I would urge my friends to find out if and when they can attend this training session, or contact you to get information from this training.

It was clear and explained the details, jargon was explained that is confusing on application forms. I was able to access from home which helped in my caring role.

Book your place today

If you’re looking to kick-start the conversation around claiming social security benefits, we’d love to welcome you along to one of our upcoming workshops.

To join, please visit the Age Scotland website and choose a date: www.age.scot/benefitsworkshop.

If you would like a bespoke workshop for a group of 6 or more people, please contact rightstraining@agescotland.org.uk. Training takes place online via Zoom, all participants require is a device with an internet connection.

Check in, Cash out

Every year hundreds of millions of pounds in vital financial support goes unclaimed by older people in Scotland. Our "Check in, Cash out" campaign aims to raise awareness and increase take-up of the support and available social security to help older people live well.

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