Now, Alex Rowley MSP has called on older people across Fife to check they aren’t missing out on vital benefits.
Figures from the Scottish Government highlight the fact that 150,000 pensioners across the country are living in poverty.
An estimated £332m of Pension Credit, designed to boost the income of older people on a low State Pension and lift them out of poverty, goes unclaimed in every year.
It is one of the most underclaimed benefits with four in ten eligible pensioners missing out on what they are due. It is also the route to keep a free TV licence if you are over 75.
Mr Rowley, who represents Mid Scotland and Fife, is supporting Age Scotland’s new “Check in, Cash out” campaign.
It calls on local older people to find out if they are missing out on financial support.
He said: “It is astonishing that as many as 9585 pensioners across Mid Scotland and Fife are missing out on Pension Credit and other vital social security.
“They are living on very low incomes or in poverty, but not claiming what they are entitled to whether through a lack of awareness, barriers to claiming, or feeling that they are coping fine as it is.
“It’s so important that older people receive the support they deserve. People need to know what support is available to them should they need it.”
Brian Sloan, chief executive of Age Scotland, said: ”Our helpline identified more than £600,000 in unclaimed social security for older people last year, but that is clearly just the tip of the iceberg.
“We would urge older people to call to find out if they are receiving all the social security support they are entitled to.”
The Age Scotland helpline is available on 0800 12 44 222 for free eligibility checks, as well as advice and free guides on Council Tax Reduction and other social security such as Pension Credit, Attendance Allowance and Carer’s Allowance.