THE Vale council and the county’s 50+ strategy forum have launched a joint initiative aimed at raising awareness of the financial entitlements available to older persons.

Those over 50 may be eligible for a range of discounts and financial privileges, though many are unaware of this fact meaning such entitlements often go unclaimed.

Examples of the entitlements on offer include pension credits and boosts; council tax reduction; financial support for carers; energy saving grants; free bus travel; and discounts when eating out, visiting the cinema or certain historic sites.

Vale council cabinet member for social care and health, Cllr Ben Gray said: “There are a number of financial entitlements available to older persons, depending on their circumstances, to help with the cost of living, but sadly many residents simply do not realise they qualify for these advantages.

“We offer a council tax reduction in certain instances, while it may also be possible to boost your pension or receive an extra allowance if a carer.

“Many other services are also available for free or at a discounted rate to those over 50.

“It’s important we make people aware of exactly what they’re entitled to, so no-one misses out.

“That’s why I’m delighted to launch this initiative in partnership with the 50+ forum.”

Executive chairwoman of the Vale 50+ Strategy Forum, Lynda Wallis said: "There are millions of pounds of unclaimed money that older people are entitled to, yet many do not realise that they are able to claim it.

“A weekly income on top of old age pension can make all the difference to the life of an older person and help with bills and paying for food."