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Welfare Rights Advisor

  • Job type: Temporary, full-time
  • Date:
  • Reference: 24273676

The main purpose of this role is to provide a specialist advice, information and casework management service to low-income Camden residents regarding entitlement to social security benefits, tax credits, and grants. The objective is to increase the level of awareness, knowledge and take up of benefits enabling clients to maximize and maintain their income and improve their management of household income and general money difficulties including debt.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To provide welfare rights information and advice to the public, Council staff and other statutory and non-statutory agencies in response to telephone and written queries.
  2. To provide a specialist welfare rights casework service to low income Camden residents and maintain a comprehensive knowledge of relevant legislation, policy and practice.
  3. To interview clients both in the office and in their home environment to undertake assessments of individual client welfare benefit needs. To be responsible for the follow up casework and signpost to specialised agencies where appropriate.
  4. To provide information to council residents on such council policies and procedures that affect the individual’s financial position e.g. charging for services, rent collection
  5. Liase with national government bodies such as the DWP and Inland Revenue offices on behalf of individual clients and on policy and practice issues
  6. To develop and maintain computer based management information systems as necessary in order to monitor work and progress.
  7. To develop effective referral networks between community and voluntary groups and the council so that clients have improved access to advice services.
  8. To organise advice sessions at different community venues. Provide talks and presentations to community groups and encourage take-up of benefits and increase awareness of benefit regulation changes and entitlement rules.
  9. To provide information and statistics for progress reports going to departments, members and other bodies.

Knowledge:

  • Proven knowledge of current social security, tax Credits housing benefit and related legislation, policy and administration.
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the needs of socially excluded groups and people living in poverty.
  • Awareness of the importance of maintaining confidentiality of client data

Essential:

Level 1 and 2

  • Excellent communication skills at all levels - both oral (telephone, face to face, presentation skills e.g. talks) and written (designing and drafting letters, filling out forms etc).
  • Proven ability to manage varied and complex caseloads and to monitor outcomes within a quality assurance framework.
  • Ability to diagnose and handle complex matters relating to casework.
  • Proven ability to prioritise work and meet deadlines.
  • Ability to undertake complex benefits calculations.
  • Proven ability to use information technology and willingness to develop computer based information.
  • Commitment to and ability to apply the Council’s equality policy relating to age, gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and faith.

Level 2

  • The ability to advocate on behalf of clients at tribunals and other hearings up to commissioners level
  • The ability to produce performance & other information for progress reports, leaflets, information sheets etc
  • Ability to develop and maintain comprehensive knowledge of relevant legislation and develop specialist areas of expertise in related fields

Essential:

  • Minimum 12 months experience of welfare right casework and benefits practice within a statutory or voluntary sector setting
  • Experience of dealing with welfare rights issues and delivering an advice service to hard to reach communities.
  • Experience of liaising/working with external organisations and bodies.

· Experience of using a range of computer packages

Essential:Level 1 and 2

  • Minimum 12 months experience of welfare right casework and benefits practice within a statutory or voluntary sector setting
  • Experience of dealing with welfare rights issues and delivering an advice service to hard to reach communities.
  • Experience of liaising/working with external organisations and bodies.

· Experience of using a range of computer packages Level 2Minimum 2 years experience of welfare rights casework and benefits practice, including tribunal representation.

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