Tag Archives: missing

Search grows dire in Miami condo collapse with 159 missing; Fire hampering rescue efforts

SURFSIDE, Fla — A “very deep fire” hampered rescue efforts Saturday at the collapsed oceanfront condominium tower near Miami where authorities are racing to recover any survivors beneath a mountain of rubble, officials said.

Rescuers were using infrared technology, water and foam to battle the blaze, whose source was unclear. Smoke has been the biggest barrier, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said during a news conference.

“We’re facing very incredible difficulties with this fire. It’s a very deep fire. It’s extremely difficult to locate the source of the fire,” she said.

SEE ALSO: What we know about those missing in the Miami-area condo collapse

One hundred fifty-nine people remain unaccounted for since Thursday’s collapse, which killed at least four.

Authorities also announced Saturday they are beginning an audit of buildings nearing their 40-year review – like the fallen Champlain Towers South – to make sure they’re safe.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have joined local and state authorities at the site, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.

The news came after word of a 2018 engineering report that showed the building had “major structural damage” to a concrete slab below its pool deck that needed extensive repairs, part of a series of documents released by the city of Surfside.

While the report from the firm of Morabito Consultants did not warn of imminent danger from the damage – and it is unclear if any of the damage observed was responsible for the collapse – it did note the need for extensive and costly repairs to fix systemic issues with the building.

MORE: 2018 report pointed out ‘major structural damage’ at Miami condo before collapse

It said the waterproofing under the pool deck had failed and had been improperly laid flat instead of sloped, preventing water from draining off.

“The failed waterproofing is causing major structural damage to the concrete structural slab below these areas. Failure to replaced the waterproofing in the near future will cause the extent of the concrete deterioration to expand exponentially,” the report said.

The firm recommended that the damaged slabs be replaced in what would be a major repair.

The report also uncovered “abundant cracking and spalling” of concrete columns, beams and walls in the parking garage. Some of the damage was minor, while other columns had exposed and deteriorating rebar. It also noted that many of the building’s previous attempts to fix the columns and other damage with epoxy were marred by poor workmanship and were failing.

Beneath the pool deck “where the slab had been epoxy-injected, new cracks were radiating from the originally repaired cracks,” the report said.

Gregg Schlesinger, a former construction project engineer who is now a lawyer handling construction defect cases, said another area of concern in the report is cracks that were discovered in the tower’s stucco facade. Schlesinger said that could indicate structural problems inside the exterior that could have been critical in the collapse.

“The building speaks to us. It is telling us we have a serious problem,” Schlesinger said in a phone interview Saturday.

He added that there are frequently “telltale signs” on oceanfront buildings indicating problems structurally largely from saltwater and salty air intrusion.

“This is a wakeup call for folks on the beach. Investigate and repair. This should be done every five years,” Schlesinger added. “The scary portion is the other buildings. You think this is unique? No.”

Abi Aghayere, a Drexel University engineering researcher, said the extent of the damage shown in the engineering report was notable. In addition to possible problems under the pool, he said several areas above the entrance drive showing signs of deterioration were worrisome and should have been repaired immediately because access issues prevented a closer inspection.

“Were the supporting members deteriorated to the extent that a critical structural element or their connections failed leading to progressive collapse?” he wrote in an email to the AP after reviewing the report. “Were there other areas in the structure that were badly deteriorated and unnoticed?”

MORE: 9/11 fire commissioner sees ‘less hope’ in finding condo collapse survivors

On Saturday, a crane could be seen removing pieces of rubble from a more than 30-foot pile of debris at the collapse site. Scores of rescuers used big machines, small buckets, drones, microphones and their own hands to pick through the mountain of debris that had been the 12-story Champlain Towers South.

Levine Cava told WPLG there was no change in the number of people still unaccounted for: “We are at status quo,” she said. “I’m hopeful this will be a day that we have will have a breakthrough.”

Rachel Spiegel was anxious for any update on her missing mother, 66-year-old Judy Spiegel, who lived on the sixth floor.

“I’m just praying for a miracle,” Spiegel said. “We’re heartbroken that she was even in the building.”

Jeanne Ugarte was coming to grips with what she feared was a tragic end for longtime friends Juan and Ana Mora and their son Juan Jr., who was visiting his parents in their condo at the tower.

“I know they’re not going to find them (alive),” Ugarte said. “It’s been too long.”

While officials said no cause for the collapse early Thursday has been determined, Gov. Ron DeSantis said a “definitive answer” was needed in a timely manner. Video showed the center of the building appearing to tumble down first, followed by a section nearer to the beach.

The 2018 report was part of preliminary work by the engineering company conducting the building’s required inspections for a recertification due this year of the building’s structural integrity at 40 years. The condominium tower was built in 1981.

___

Condon reported from New York. Associated Press Terry Spencer in Surfside contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Author: AP

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

State pension warning as many Britons missing out on extra £4,659 – act now

State Pension payments assist millions of people in retirement, but depending on the amount one receives, the sum may have to be stretched. To unlock the full state pension sum, it is usually the case a person will need at least 35 years of National Insurance contributions. Indeed, to receive anything at all from the state pension, some 10 years of contributions are required.

Regardless, though, of what people receive from the state pension, there could be an opportunity to boost income.

It is made available through the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), the same body responsible for overseeing the state pension.

The payment in question is known as Attendance Allowance, and is available to many people of state pension age.

The sum is designed to assist those with a disability severe enough that they need someone to help look after them.

READ MORE: Pension: Britons may get up to £85,000 compensation for poor advice

Those who do have a carer, though, could tell this individual they could get Carer’s Allowance if substantial caring needs are involved.

Attendance Allowance is currently paid at two different rates, with the amount a person receives based on their circumstances.

Qualifying individuals can receive either £60 or £89.60 per week.

The lower rate, the Government states, is for those who need “frequent help or constant supervision during the day, or supervision at night”.

But for the higher rate, individuals will need to require help or supervision throughout both day and night, or be terminally ill.

Across the year, then, Britons may be entitled to up to £4,659 worth of support from this payment. 

Attendance Allowance is also not a means-tested payment from the DWP.

This means what a person earns or how much they have in savings does not impact the amount they receive.

Attendance Allowance, however, could open Britons up to a whole world of possibilities and assistance in their day to day lives.

The Government has confirmed some recipients may also be able to get additional Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or a Council Tax Reduction for their claim.

To apply, all Britons will need to do is use the Attendance Allowance claim form, accessible through the Government’s official website or the Attendance Allowance helpline.

Here, they can print this off and then send it by post, where a postcode and stamp is not required.

Attendance Allowance can be backdated to the date of a person’s claim. 

This is usually the date the form is received or the date an individual calls the enquiry line.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

What We Know About the Missing in the Miami Building Collapse

Ms. Fonte said her sister had been talking on the phone with her husband at around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, moments before the collapse: “She said the building was shaking and then the phone died,” Ms. Fonte said.

The news of the collapse ricocheted from the 5,600-person oceanfront town of Surfside and across the Western Hemisphere. Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, said on Twitter that nearly a third of the people reported missing were foreign citizens, and that family members from more than a dozen countries were racing to get visas so they could travel to the scene.

Credit…Sergio Barth

For Luis Barth, a lawyer from Colombia, and his family, the trip to South Florida served a number of purposes, according to his brother Sergio Barth. They wanted to see family in Florida, after a long gap because of the coronavirus pandemic, spend some time on vacation and get vaccinated here, given the frustratingly slow pace of the vaccine rollout in Colombia.

Mr. Barth, 51, along with his wife, Catalina Gomez, 46, and their daughter Valeria, 14, arrived in Florida on May 25, and all three of them got the vaccine, Sergio Barth said. Their plan was to briefly stay in a friend’s condominium in Champlain Towers before moving to Sergio Barth’s house and continuing their vacation.

But for some reason, they went to Miami a day earlier than planned. “That’s a God thing,” Mr. Barth said, adding that he had repeatedly called the family’s cellphones to no avail. “It’s really hard for us to understand and explain.”

The loss — if it is indeed a loss — will be felt intimately and broadly. Luis Barth was politically active in Colombia and had previously run a technology and innovation district in Medellín, which was central to the city’s effort to move beyond the years of drug-war violence. Ms. Gomez was also a talented lawyer, Sergio Barth said.

Author: Richard Fausset, Giulia Heyward and Jack Healy
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

3 dead, as many as 99 missing after Miami-area condo building partially collapses

SURFSIDE, Fla — Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine said 159 people remain unaccounted for, with four people confirmed dead, after a southern Florida building collapse.

More than a day after the wing of Champlain Tower South suddenly collapsed in the middle of the night, rescue crews continued to dig through piles of rubble and twisted metal more than 30 feet high Friday morning with the unlikely hope of finding at least one survivor.

A family friend has identified Stacie Fang as one of the four people confirmed dead, ABC News has learned. Fang was the mother of Jonah Handler, a young boy that rescuers pulled from the rubble in a now-viral video.

The 12-story residential condo in beachside town of Surfside, about 6 miles north of Miami Beach, collapsed around 1:03 a.m. Thursday. Officials said the collapse affected 55 out of the building’s 136 units.

As of Thursday evening, officials said 102 people were identified and declared safe. Rescuers pulled at least 35 people from the wreckage in the first hours after the collapse. Hours after the collapse, searchers were trying to reach a trapped child whose parents were believed to be dead. In another case, rescuers saved a mother and child, but the woman’s leg had to be amputated to remove her from the rubble, officials said.

Mayor Charles Burkett said the building “literally pancaked” during a press conference. Officials have not pinpointed a definitive cause for the collapse, but at this point, there is no evidence to indicate that it was a result of foul play, Miami Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava told “Good Morning America.”

President Joe Biden approved a Florida emergency declaration early Friday. FEMA was authorized to identify, mobilize and provide equipment and resources to alleviate the impacts of the emergency, a White House statement read.

What we know about the missing

A massive search and rescue operation was launched before dawn and crews are still carefully combing through the wreckage and remaining structure in hopes of finding survivors.

A Miami-Dade county official told ABC News it’s been difficult to determine how many people were in the collapsed section of the building, partly due to the fact that there isn’t an on-scene management company that keeps track. The condominium is a mix of full-time residents, seasonal residents, renters and short-term visitors, so authorities have been relying largely on neighbors and word of mouth.

The Champlain Towers South drew a considerable amount of foreigners, according to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL.

The Paraguayan president’s sister-in-law and her family are among the missing, the country’s foreign ministry confirmed. The first lady’s sister Sophia Lopez Moreira, her husband Luis Pettengill, their three unidentified children and nanny Lady Luna Villalba were in the building at the time of the collapse, officials said.

Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Uruguay and Paraguay all reported foreign nationals lived in the building.

Raide Jadallah, an assistant Miami-Dade County fire chief, said that while listening devices placed on and in the wreckage had picked up no voices, they had detected possible banging noises, giving rescuers hope some are alive. Rescuers were tunneling into the wreckage from below, going through the building’s underground parking garage.

The official told ABC News that there’s real concern about the structural integrity of the remaining building, particularly from dangling wires and portions of concrete. Fires have flared up throughout the day, adding to the danger for the search and rescue teams, the official said.

Many people remained at the reunification center set up near the collapse site early Friday morning, awaiting results of DNA swabs that could help identify victims.

Investigation into the collapse

The cause of the Champlain Tower South collapse was unknown. The Miami-Dade Police Department is leading an investigation into the incident.

The seaside condo development was built in 1981 in the southeast corner of Surfside. It had a few two-bedroom units currently on the market, with asking prices of $ 600,000 to $ 700,000.

Surfside Commissioner Nelly Velasquez told ABC News that the building was up for its 40-year recertification.

The Champlain Towers South Condo Association was preparing to start a new construction project to make updates and the condominium had been through extensive inspections, according to Kenneth Direktor, a lawyer for the association. Direktor said that he hadn’t been warned of any structural issues with the building or about the land it was built on. He said there was water damage to the complex, but that is common for oceanfront properties and wouldn’t have caused the collapse.

“Nothing like this has ever been seen, at least not in the 40 years I’ve been doing this,” Direktor told ABC News.

Families awaiting answers

Fortuna Smukler posted about the disaster on Facebook, hoping that someone would know the whereabouts of Myriam Caspi Notkin and Arnie Notkin, an elderly couple who lived on the third floor.

Arnie Notkin spent years teaching physical education at a local elementary school, said Smukler, a North Miami Beach commissioner who is friends with Myriam Notkin’s daughters.

“He was such a well-liked P.E. teacher from people’s past,” she said. “Everyone’s been posting, ‘Oh my god, he was my coach.'”

“It would be a miracle if they’re found alive,” she added.

Nicholas Fernandez spent hours after the collapse trying to call two friends who were staying in the building with their young daughter. The family had come to the United States to avoid the COVID-19 outbreak in their home country of Argentina, said Fernandez, of Miami.

“The hope is that, perhaps, someone hears the call. I know there are dogs inside,” he said. “I know it may sound ridiculous what I’m saying but there’s always hope until we hear different.”

Survivor stories

Barry Cohen, 63, said he and his wife were asleep in the building when he first heard what he thought was a crack of thunder. The couple went onto their balcony, then opened the door to the building’s hallway to find “a pile of rubble and dust and smoke billowing around.”

“I couldn’t walk out past my doorway,” said Cohen, the former vice mayor of Surfside.

MORE: New Jersey family recounts surviving Surfside building collapse

Albert and Janette Aguero suddenly awoke early Thursday to what they said sounded like a “really loud clap of thunder.” Then their bedroom began to shake.

The New Jersey couple were vacationing with their two children in southern Florida, staying on the 11th floor of the oceanfront Champlain Towers South condominium in a unit owned by their parents.

“The chandeliers and the pendant lights [were] just swaying completely, and that was not normal. It was not a clap of thunder and it wasn’t a storm; it was something else,” Albert Aguero told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes in an interview Friday on “Good Morning America.”

“The whole bedroom was shaking so violently that, honestly, I was prepared for the whole building to come down,” Janette Aguero added.

It wasn’t until they opened the door to the hallway that they realized what had actually happened.

“I looked to the left and the apartment to our left was half sheared off. I looked forward, which is where the elevator shaft is, and it was just a hole,” Albert Aguero recalled. “At that point, we knew it was a race against time because I didn’t know if the rest of the building was coming [down].”

The couple said their 22-year-old son and 14-year-old daughter were “mere feet away” from the part of the building that collapsed.

“It could have been a very different thing,” Janette Aguero said, her voice wavering with emotion. “I don’t think I’ve really processed what happened.”

ABC Owned Television Stations and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 ABC News Internet Ventures.

Author: ABCNews

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Restore the Missing Colors in the Surreal Puzzle Adventure Game Discolored

Summary

  • Discolored is a surreal, first-person, puzzle adventure game where all the colors have gone missing and it’s up to you to bring them back.
  • Explore and solve inventive puzzles to restore the missing colors.
  • Discolored is available now on Xbox One.

In Discolored you explore a strange and desolate roadside diner at the end of an abandoned highway trying to restore the colors that have gone missing. The inspiration for this game comes from science fiction shows like “The Twilight Zone” and books by Ray Bradbury. I love how those stories have an otherworldly quality to them, giving off a sense of mystery with a slight hint of something uneasy in the air. However, at the same time there is a sense of wonder while experiencing the surreal nature of those worlds. I wanted to create something similar to that with Discolored.

Discolored

In the same fashion, the puzzles and gameplay of Discolored also have a unique quality that can fall just outside conventional rules of the modern world and require you to think outside the box. As you start to restore color to the world you’ll discover certain items must bend to the rules of each color. Keeping these rules in mind while collecting new items, and sometimes combining them together to solve puzzles, the world opens up more and you might also get the sense that you are not alone at this diner in the middle of the desert.

Discolored

The game’s minimalist art style is largely influenced by the traditional artists Edward Hopper and John Register whose paintings contain simple details, but it is in their striking use of color and light that makes their worlds come alive.

Discolored

For the story, I wanted to approach it with the same minimalism. Taking inspiration from games like Limbo and The Witness, there are hints here and there revealing the story, but it is also a narrative exercise in your own mind where you start to fill in the blanks of what is really going on. Be sure to find all the achievements to catch all hints of the story.

Discolored

Discolored was made mostly by myself over the course of two years. It was a fantastic experience creating it and I’m honored to be able to bring it to the Xbox One. I invite you to check it out and I hope you enjoy it!

Xbox Live

Discolored

Godbey Games LLC

7
Xbox One X Enhanced
A lonely roadside diner in the middle of the desert. The locals say it’s lost all its color. You are sent to investigate. Discolored​ is a strange and surreal puzzle adventure, taking place over two-or-so hours in a single desolate location. Your mission: restore the color to this once-vibrant world. What caused the colors to disappear? How can they be brought back? As you explore, you’ll solve an array of inventive puzzles and uncover a selection of clues – leading you to discover the deeper secrets of this strange place at the end of an abandoned highway. Features: First-person exploration fused with intricate and inventive puzzle-solving A single environment that changes and expands as you play A striking, pared-back aesthetic, with a beautiful haunting soundtrack Designed to be experienced in a single sitting – playable in two-or-so hours

Author: Jason Godbey, Director, Godbey Games LLC
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

Why millions of Virgin Media and BT users are missing out on the fastest broadband speeds

Some of the UK’s biggest broadband suppliers including BT and Virgin Media are now offering ultra-fast connections that have the ability to whizz a full HD movie to a TV in under 40 seconds or a massive PS5 blockbuster to consoles in around 10 minutes. Blisteringly quick 1Gbps speeds are rolling out across the country at a rapid rate and offer downloads that are 30-times faster than the current UK average.

That all sounds pretty impressive and, with so many of us now working from home, having a 1Gbps connection could become vital in the future. However, despite huge investment in this new technology, it appears most consumers have no idea they are able to access it.

According to a new report from Which? 6 in 10 consumers not yet aware of gigabit-capable broadband.

Which? found that many broadband users are baffled by some of the terminology used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and the confusion makes it hard to know which service is best. For example, some ISPs say they offer “fibre” speeds when this is actually a mix of slower older copper cables and more advanced fibre-optic technology.

READ MORE: Struggling with BT and Virgin Media broadband? This rival offers an innovative new fix

For example, Virgin Media offers 100Mbps speeds for £25 per month whereas its 1Gbps option will set you back over £60. That’s a high price to pay for internet access but it could be worth the cash if you live in a busy home.

One thing to remember is that the internet in your home is a bit like a motorway. The more traffic that runs through it the slower it can get. This basically means that if your kids are downloading huge PS5 games and watching Disney+ in 4K whilst you are in the morning Teams meeting things can start to struggle.

That’s where 1Gbps speeds come into their own as they can cope with far greater traffic passing through them.

Speaking about the research, Rocio Concha, Which? director of policy and advocacy, and chair of the Gigabit Take-up Advisory Group, said: “Digital connectivity has never been more important, with the pandemic highlighting how dependent consumers are on a good broadband connection for daily activities, such as remote working, access to services and keeping in touch with family and friends. 

“Demand for faster, more reliable broadband services is crucial to the success of the roll-out of gigabit-capable broadband, and to ensure the benefits of these connections are realised. Better information about the benefits, measures to improve the language used to describe these services, along with possible targeted voucher and discount schemes, will help to address the barriers preventing consumers from benefiting from better connections.”

This article contains affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission on any sales of products or services we write about. This article was written completely independently, see more details here

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Tech Feed

3 dead, 2 missing after group of tubers go over Duke Energy dam near North Carolina-Virginia border

EDEN, N.C. — Three people are dead and two others — including a 7-year-old boy — are still missing after a group on inflatable tubes went over a Duke Energy dam along the Dan River in Eden, North Carolina, authorities said.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office said nine people went tubing Wednesday evening on the Dan River but at some point, several of the tubes came untied and some floated over the Duke Energy dam around 7 p.m.

Authorities said a Duke Energy Plant employee called 9-1-1 on Thursday afternoon to report some people may be in danger on the river,

Four of the nine were found by construction workers around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. They were “hanging onto various items,” according to the construction workers.
.
The rescued tubers were taken to a hospital for treatment.

On Friday, authorities identified the survivors as Rueben Villino, 35, of Eden, his son, 14-year-old Eric Villino, his daughter, 18-year-old Irene Villino and Karlos Villino, 14, of LaPorte, Indiana.

Three bodies were found Thursday night, according to the Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates. Numerous rescue boats and helicopters from the North Carolina Highway Patrol and AirLife out of Virginia joined the search.

The three people found dead were identified as Bridish Crawford, 27, of Eden, the mother of some of Rueben Villino’s children, Antonio Ramon, 30, of Eden, and 14-year-old Sophie Wilson, of LaPorte, Indiana.

“We’re going to stay positive that we can do a rescue rather than a recovery,” Cates said about the two remaining missing tubers. They are looking for 30-year-old Thressa Villino, the sister of Rueben Villino and 7-year-old Isiah Crawford, who is the son of Crawford.

Officials resumed the search for the two others Friday morning. The investigation runs from Rockingham County all the way to the Virginia borderline.

“We have done both an air and water search at this time. We’ve had an aircraft that has flown the river. They flew 6 miles into Virginia, they came back widened their perimeter and flew the ground area adjacent to the river,” Cates said.

Officials said all the people were related and were visiting family in the area.

Tubing is a “regular activity” in the area, but people are discouraged to tube near the dam considering there is a “pretty steep drop” over the dam, authorities told ABC News.

There are warning signs posted on the river near the dam, authorities said,

See breaking news? Tell us about it here.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Author: KTRK

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

Heart attack symptoms: The 'less common' signs of a heart attack you might be missing

The symptoms of a heart attack may be more subtle than you think. Calling an ambulance straight away could save your life. Many of us know the common ones, such as tightness in the chest or pain in the arm – but what are the less common signs of a heart attack? When should you call 999?

Heart attacks are caused by a lack of blood reaching the heart which puts stress on the muscle and can bring on an attack.

A heart attack can also be a sign of coronary heart disease.

When this occurs large fatty deposits interrupt the flow of blood in the blood vessels, which can stop the flow of blood to the heart causing an attack.

If you think you, or someone you know, may be having an attack, you should call 999 straight away.

READ MORE:

How to live longer: Plant protein found to reduce cancer risk [ANALYSIS]

There are several key warning signs of a heart attack to look out for.

Most of us know the common signs of a heart attack:

  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the arm
  • Dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing

But, what are the ‘less common’ signs that you might be having a heart attack?

DON’T MISS:

Most people assume that heart attacks come on quickly and unexpectedly.

But, heart attack symptoms can persist over days as well as coming on suddenly.

The intensity of pain felt can vary from person to person.

For some, the pain might just be a feeling of discomfort, similar to indigestion, but for others, the pain in their chest can be severe.

So what are the ‘Less common’ signs of a heart attack?

Less common signs of a heart attack include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Anxiety – this can feel similar to a panic attack
  • Sweating

What should you do if you think you may be having a heart attack?

If you think you may be having a heart attack you should call 999 immediately for medical assistance.

You should then sit down and rest, try to stay calm while you wait for an ambulance, if you have a 300mg aspirin within arms reach you should take it or if you are not alone ask someone to get one for you.

How do you know if it is chest pain or a heart attack?

Chest pain is serious – if it comes on suddenly, if it spreads to your arms, back, neck or jaw or if the pain feels heavy or tight you should call 999 straight away.

If you become short of breath or start to feel sick after experiencing chest pain then you should also call 999.

The NHS said: “Paramedics would rather be called out to find an honest mistake has been made than be too late to save a person’s life.”

If you do not experience these characteristics there may be another reason for your chest pain such as angina, indigestion or a strained muscle, whatever the cause you should not delay seeking medical assistance.

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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State pension age: 958,000 Britons missing out on £1.8billion – can you claim extra money?

At least £15billion of benefits went unclaimed last year, national poverty charity Turn2us has warned. More than 7.1 million people missed out on these benefits, increasing their risk of being pushed into financial hardship or even poverty.

The charity found 63 percent of this age group have never checked.

Pensioners are also the least likely to claim the benefits they have a right to, with one in three missing out on Pension Credit – a benefit which some people of state pension age may qualify for.

In response to this issue, Turn2us has released a new Benefits Calculator tool.

It has been designed in partnership with people who have lived expertise.

The charity is urging people to check their entitlement and start the application process as soon as possible.

Sonya Ruparel, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Turn2us, said: “There is an endemic issue of unclaimed benefits in the UK.

“The confusing, sometimes hostile, and often stigmatising world of social security has led to millions of people not claiming their entitlements.

“Our new tool sets out to simplify, de-mystify and compassionately support people to access the money they are due.

It takes around 10 minutes to find out what benefits a person is entitled to, and can help users to start the application process.

It is user friendly for people of all digital abilities and the Turn2us helpline can do calculations for people without internet access.

Furthermore, the tool clarifies the implications of choosing between staying on legacy benefits versus Universal Credit, and whether individuals are eligible for a move.

Turn2us also highlighted how £775million in Child Benefit went unclaimed by 503,000 people.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Lewis Hamilton explains Azerbaijan GP misery as Brit 'humbled' after missing out on win

Lewis Hamilton was left devastated after missing out on the chance to retake the lead of the championship after main title rival Max Verstappen crashed out in a spectacular final four laps of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

Verstappen crashed out from the lead of the race with just four laps to go due to a tyre failure, bringing out the red flag.

Race control decided to restart the race after the debris was removed from the track, with Perez inheriting the lead in a two lap-sprint finish.

After an electric restart, Hamilton, in second, went side by side with Perez before locking up his tyres and going straight at turn one, with the pack of cars speeding past him.

The mistake played into Red Bull’s hands with Perez grabbing his second Formula One win and his first for the team, with no points scored by either of the two main title contenders.

Hamilton told Sky Sports F1: “Naturally it’s quite a humbling experience to deal with. We’d worked so hard this weekend to come back out of the top 10 and it was looking so good.

JUST IN:
Lewis Hamilton throws away Azerbaijan win as Max Verstappen crashes 

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Sport Feed