A drive to encourage those entitled to benefits to register for them last year saw £16.9 million in extra cash claimed – largely by the elderly.
The figure, covering April 2012 to April 2013, has just been released and the Department for Social Development said almost 5,000 people had been affected.
Social Development Minister Nelson McCausland said: “Local people, mainly aged 60 and over, who benefited from the benefit uptake programme last year were better off by an average of £65 per week.”
Most of the benefits were Attendance Allowance, Pension Credit and Carers Allowance.
He also said a fresh campaign to encourage take-up of entitlements, called Make the Call, will start from Monday.
It comes amid a serious deadlock in the Assembly around planned benefits changes, with some MLAs fearing that they may leave the less-well-off even more out of pocket.
To contact the benefits advice line, call 0800 232 1271.