A TOTAL of 372 people have been supported to claim more than £500,000 of welfare benefits since April as part of a North Area Council-run contract.

The service is provided under an agreement between the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) and the support organisation DIAL, financed by the area council which covers Darton East, Darton West, Old Town and St Helen’s wards.

In 2019 alone, advice given to residents has generated an additional £1.82m in fresh benefit payments, according to a report which will be discussed by councillors on Monday.

The report said: “The generalist adviser from CAB has also supported clients with a range of other issues including debt, employment, family issues, housing and legal support.”