Check in, Cash out
Every year hundreds of millions of pounds in vital financial support go 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.
There are 150,000 pensioners in Scotland living in poverty - with tens of thousands more on the cusp of it.
A range of social security payments are available to help older people depending on their income and circumstances, including Pension Credit, Council Tax Reduction, Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.
However, many older people do not claim the financial support they are entitled to. There are a range of reasons why this is the case, including:
- lack of awareness
- stigma about social security
- the belief the money would be better used to help others
- the claims process involved
- digital exclusion
- not knowing where to find advice and support
We want people to check in to see if they may be entitled to cash out by calling our helpline and using our free information guides
Age Scotland's Helpline
In 2020, our helpline identified £493,350 of unclaimed benefits for older people who called us. Call us on 0800 12 44 222 today. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am - 5pm.
How can Age Scotland help?
We support older people to increase their awareness of the financial support available to them:
1) Our helpline advisers can perform free entitlement checks and help people to claim if they are missing out. The helpline is free to call and lines are open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. Call us today on 0800 12 44 222.
2) Our free guides provide information and advice on financial matters and benefits.
Age Scotland also offers free basic training sessions covering the most relevant social security payments for older people over the State Pension age. Book your place at one of our two-hour sessions by visiting our Training page.
Age Scotland's information guides
You can find more information about benefits and financial support using our free information guides
Throughout the year, we'll be spotlighting a range of social security payments and sources of support for older people. Find information on each of the payments and themes we'll be highlighting below:
Age Scotland's Training
Our two-hour free training sessions cover means-tested and non-means-tested social security for people over State Pension age.
Pension Credit is one of the most underclaimed social security payments with an estimated 40% of eligible people missing out. Research by Independent Age has suggested there are 123,000 eligible older households in Scotland which are not claiming Pension Credit. This equates to £332m of support left unclaimed.
Claiming Pension Credit is important as it passports the recipient to other forms of financial support to enable them to live well – such as Council Tax Reduction, Cold Weather Payments and additional help with health costs.
Council Tax Reduction
Council Tax Reduction (CTR) helps people who are on a low income with the cost of the Council Tax bill for their normal home.
In 2019-20, 63% of those in receipt of CTR were aged over 50. Based on Scottish Government figures, we have calculated that the estimate average annual award per CTR recipient for over-65s was £716.56. The average annual award figure was even higher for 60-64 year olds (£751.92), 55-59 year olds (£750.88) and 50-54 year olds (£747.76).
Despite the contribution of unpaid care to Scotland's economy, carers are a group at higher risk of poverty.
Many over-50s care for friends, family members or neighbours. However, they may not see this as providing care, instead viewing it as 'just what they do'. We want to help these carers self-identify and take-up the forms of support available for them.
The Carers (Scotland) Act 2016 gives carers the right to support from their council and support to help their health and wellbeing. Those who spend over 35 hours per week caring for a person in receipt of a qualifying disability benefit may be entitled to Carer's Allowance.