Hanover helps deliver £1.5m boost to residents' incomes
21 May 2015
Residents of Hanover Housing Association have benefited from £1.5 million of income benefits and savings on their bills – thanks to Hanover’s Be Wise service.
This is the third successive year in which Hanover has exceeded its £1.25m target to help residents protect and improve their incomes and save money on energy bills.
Hanover’s Be Wise provides practical assistance to residents to maximise their incomes, save money with their energy bills, help with adaptations to their homes and advice on contents insurance designed for their circumstances.
Hanover set a target of improving residents’ finances to the tune of £1.25m in 2014/15. However, just ten months into the campaign, the target has been exceeded and over £1.5m has been achieved through increased income from benefits to which residents are entitled.
The success is thanks to Hanover’s specialist financial rights and energy advisers who have been taking the programme out to estates. They offer full confidential benefit checks, along with the opportunity to discuss entitlements.
In one case the financial rights team helped a resident from North West England claim the higher rate of Attendance Allowance which led to an increase in her housing benefit. Along with awards of Pension Credit and Council Tax reduction, her annual income increased by £7,000.
In another case a couple from Greater Manchester successfully applied for high rate Attendance Allowance which again led to additional benefits, resulting in them being £10,000 better off each year.
Older people can be among the nation’s poorest, and are disproportionately affected by cuts in services such as local care, transport and other facilities which severely reduce their quality of life. While many benefits for older people have been protected, in quite a large number of cases people are not aware of those to which they are entitled. The Be Wise service aims to address this.
Be Wise provides free phone help lines to answer queries and give individual advice, while Hanover has produced a simple guide for its residents on how to claim benefits.
Chris Munday, Director of Operations at Hanover, says: 'Hanover seeks to deliver the best and most affordable services to residents. With additional services like Be Wise, Hanover is also able to help and advise people on increasing their fixed incomes to meet the costs of living in later years. To have beaten our £1.25m target so comprehensively at this stage of the year is a fantastic result – both for the Be Wise service but, more importantly, for the financial wellbeing of our residents.’