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pounds 1m benefit is reclaimed.

A WELFARE rights group has praised a council initiative for helping residents pocket pounds 1m.

Liverpool council's outbound calls project has helped residents claim the massive sum in housing benefit.

More than 3,000 people were helped by the council to claim benefits they did not know they were entitled to.

Housing staff telephoned residents on evenings from the council's Liverpool Direct call centre and helped them fast-track their claims.

Kathy Whiteside, manager of independent welfare rights group the Benefits Advice Team, said: ``This is an excellent scheme that has really helped people in Liverpool.

``Far too few know how much benefits they are entitled to and the council is helping to put money back into people's pockets.''

Plans are in the pipeline to expand the call-up service to include checking up on truants and selling discount leisure cards.
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Nov 18, 2002
Words:139
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