PENSIONERS in Clydebank are missing out on almost £8million in a benefit they are entitled to, a new report suggests.

Non-profit organisation Independent Age released the new statistics which show 2,873 people across West Dunbartonshire are not receiving pension credit, when they should.

This means a total of £7.76million has been left unclaimed, remaining in government hands.

On average, the amount paid out to West Dunbartonshire residents is also the second highest in Scotland, at £52.53 per week.

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The benefit is designed to supplement the income of stricken pensioners, with one part of the payout topping up the weekly income of the elderly if it falls below £167.25 for single people, or £255.25 for couples.

A second part of the initiative gives extra cash to those who had saved money towards their retirement.

Across Scotland, around £330m was left unclaimed, forming part of the £3.5billion which has not been taken up across the UK.

Not claiming pension credit can also lead to the elderly missing out on associated benefits, such as the cold weather payment, housing benefit or a council tax reduction.

West Dunbartonshire MP Martin Docherty-Hughes has looked to raise awareness of the problem.

He told the Post: “Two in five pensioners across Clydebank, Dumbarton and the Vale are missing out on this vital financial support at a time when poverty amongst older people is on the rise.

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“It’s shocking more than £7.7m is being lost each year to pensioners in West Dunbartonshire and shows a clear failure by the UK Government to engage with the older generation and help them claim what they’re entitled to.”

The MP has also joined forces with charity Age Scotland, who are leading a campaign to get as many people as possible to take up the benefit.