Merton helps residents benefit by over £800k

Merton Council helped residents gain a total of £820,924 in extra benefits last year (08/09) through its partnership work with the government’s Pension Service.

The Welfare Benefits Service and the Local Pensions Service work together to form the Merton Outreach Visiting Team (MOViT) and they advise people on what benefits they can claim and assist them get the financial help they are entitled to from the government. These benefits include pension credit, housing benefit and disability living allowance as well as other benefits from the Department for Work and Pensions.

MOViT studies the cases of people seeking financial support before visiting them to make sure they are entitled to help and are applying for the right benefits. This research meant a total of 75% of the local residents MOViT visited between April 2008 and the end of March 2009 successfully managed to get their correct benefits.

Through working in partnership MOViT has added a total of £2.3million in extra benefit into the homes of Merton residents since it started.

Councillor Samantha George, deputy leader of Merton Council and cabinet member for change management and performance, said: “Congratulations to MOViT for such a successful year. Many of our residents, especially in the current economic climate, rely on financial support from the government but applying for the right benefits can be complicated and confusing. Making sure people get the help they need to successfully apply for support is another way in which the council is putting its residents first.

“The team is very focused and work very hard and this is shown by the high number of residents it has successfully helped. Residents will mainly spend their extra benefits in Merton, which means the whole of the borough benefits.”

If you would like to find out about entitlements to benefits or further information about MOViT please contact the Welfare Benefits Service on 020 8545 4178 or email welfarebenefitsteam@merton.gov.uk

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