A WEEK-long pilot project to help people make sure they are claiming the correct benefits is taking place in Hemlington and Coulby Newham.

The scheme will take place in venues around the south Middlesbrough wards until Friday, March 21.

Throughout the week staff and advisors from various partner agencies were stationed in Hemlington and Coulby Newham locations to assist members of the public.

Councillor Tracy Harvey, Middlesbrough Council's executive lead for welfare reform, said: "This project is about explaining benefits and making sure people know what they are entitled to.

"The story that too often goes untold about welfare is of the billions of pounds that go unclaimed every year by those who would be assisted by it.

"Welfare is about fairness and helping people from all walks of society to improve their own lives.

"We are aiming to give people a better understanding of what they are eligible to claim and to clear up any misconceptions about benefits."

John Daniels, manager of Middlesbrough's Citizen's Advice Bureau, said: "At a time when a lot of people are struggling financially, it is important that they claim all of the benefits to which they are entitled.

"The benefits system can be complicated, and we want to help people through it effectively."