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Virgin Money and national poverty charity Turn2us have helped thousands of people across the UK to access unclaimed benefits and tax credits.

Since the start of their partnership, Virgin Money and Turn2us have helped 28,708 people to check their eligibility for welfare benefits and tax credits using the charity’s free, easy to use benefits calculator on the bank’s website. Over £1.7 million in eligible grants and benefits support has been identified as a result.

The benefits calculator enables people to check their eligibility for welfare benefits and grants. Turn2us estimates that those who use the calculator and find out they are entitled to unclaimed benefits then go onto receive an average of £5,300 in additional funds each year.

As demand for the service continues, Virgin Money and Turn2us have now extended their partnership for a further twelve months.

This comes as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced people of state pension age could be losing out on an average of £3,500 a year in pension credit. Data from DWP shows £1.7 billion is being left unclaimed by approximately 770,000 older people in Britain.

Lyn Rose, head of store network and customer inclusion at Virgin Money, said: “With the rising cost of living continuing to impact households, it’s more important than ever to check whether you’re receiving the right support from the government. If your circumstances have altered even slightly it’s worth spending the ten minutes it takes to complete the form to make sure you’re not missing out on boosting your income.

“We’ve already seen almost 30,000 people benefit from accessing the calculator via our website, and by continuing to work with Turn2us for at least another year we are aiming to reach many thousands more.”

Thomas Lawson, chief executive of Turn2us, said: “Too many people in our own communities are in financial crisis, or weighed down by the fear of tipping into it. In the same way as when we're sick, we turn to the NHS for help, welfare benefits are there to help when we’re experiencing financial difficulty. It’s not right that so many remain unclaimed.

“Partnering with Virgin Money has helped so many more people find out what support is there, and how to claim it. We urge people to check their benefits entitlement regularly with the free, easy-to-use and confidential Turn2us Benefits Calculator. It will show what support is available at a time when budgets are stretched as far as they can go.”

To access the benefits calculator via Virgin Money, visit: Link opens in a new window.

For more information on Virgin Money’s cost of living support services, visit: Link opens in a new window.