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PENSIONERS NEEDING HELP? NEW GUIDE IS RIGHT UP YOUR STREET

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Coronation Street star Liz Dawn today joined Alistair Darling to launch a new booklet right up the street of pensio...
Coronation Street star Liz Dawn today joined Alistair Darling to launch a new booklet right up the street of pensioners who need a guide to benefits and services they need.
For the first time 'The Pensioners' Guide' brings together in one place key national and local information and could be worth hundreds of pounds to pensioners.
Liz Dawn, Coronation Street's Vera Duckworth, said: 'This new guide is really useful for pensioners, giving them a lot of vital information at their fingertips.
'It is just the kind of booklet that would come in very handy at Rita's Kabin for pensioners who need advice on government services. It's written in such clear language that even our Jack would understand it.'
Social security secretary Alistair Darling said: 'This is the type of handy guide that pensioners can keep at home and look at when they need to.
'It signposts where people need to go to get further information and advice on pensions, health, keeping warm, social services and security against crime,' he added.
The Pensioners' Guide provides a useful checklist of services and benefits so pensioners can ensure they are not missing out. They can tell at a glance whether the service is likely to be available for them and whom they should contact to find out more.
Pensioners welcomed the idea of a guide, with feedback from market testing suggesting it will fill an information gap and break down barriers to benefits and services.
Among the help available covered is:
* The minimum income guarantee - more pensioners than ever will be eligible for it from April when it will be worth£92.15 for a single pensioner.
* Help with heating including grants to help heat the home worth up to£2,000 in England,£2,700 in Wales and the Warm Deal in Scotland.
* Help with home security improvements such as new door locks, window locks and a smoke detector.
* Help with health costs and how to get support from social services.
NOTES
1. There is a guide that refers to England and Wales (also available in Welsh) and a separate guide for Scotland.
2. Copies of the guides will be available from venues including benefit offices, Citizens Advice Bureaus and libraries.
Or a copy can be requested by phoning 0845 6 065 065 (textphone 0845 6 064 064). Copies of the guides are also available at www.info4pensioners.gov.uk.
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