Advice service boosts income for people in West Yorkshire

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A free and confidential service provided to residents by a housing association has helped boost their income by over £9.8m.

The Be Wise service run by Hanover Housing Association is used by people in West Yorkshire, including at Delacy Gardens in Pontefract.

Cash.

Cash.

It helps older residents to both protect and improve their incomes.

Launched in 2012, Be Wise operates by conducting individual benefit assessments, providing practical guidance to reduce energy costs and assist with adaptations to homes.

Since launching six years ago, the service has helped some 5340 residents, with 238 events staged across England. The team also handle daily telephone, letter, email and Skype enquiries.

In one case a resident had been advised by his local authority to contact the DWP and request that his housing cost details be provided for a Universal Credit claim.

This turned out to be bad advice as he was worse off after the change. The Be Wise team were able to identify the error and helped him with draw his claim for Universal Credit and challenge the Local Authority’s decision to incorrectly refuse legacy benefits.

The team also assisted with a successful claim for Personal Independence Payments: and he is now better off by £333 per week.

Cressida Stanley-Williams, service development manager for Hanover, said: “We are rightly proud to have assisted residents with their budgeting and savings, helping to deliver an amazing £9.8 million so far.

“This shows Hanover’s commitment to improving the overall wellbeing of residents and helps ensure we go above and beyond just a bricks and mortar level of service.

‘Be Wise continues to achieve great success in offering tangible changes and provides additional security for many residents who want to continue living as independently as possible in their homes.”