Income Officer - Southwark council

Posted 7 February by CHANGE RESOURCING

Main Purpose of the Job

To manage a caseload of accounts and prevent the accrual of rent arrears for clients in temporary accommodation. To represent RBKC at possession hearings, manage debt recovery cases, and associated functions, including former arrears case loads.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible for maximising income for temporary accommodation from clients Housing Benefit.

Responsible for the monitoring of clients accounts and implementation of procedures to recover debts.

Responsible for monitoring Housing Benefit payments and liaison with that section to ensure prompt receipt of payment. To pursue clients to ensure appropriate documentation is received to enable Housing Benefit to be processed.

Responsible for maintaining financial records and providing support as required. To assist clients impacted by welfare reform measures; including the close monitoring of universal credit cases.

To identify cases where legal action is required, prepare paperwork or documentation and refer to legal. To monitor progress, record income and liaise generally with Legal Services as appropriate.

Responsible for monitoring the progress of cases passed to Legal Services and record payments made following action.

To keep up to date with legislative and regulatory changes and keep abreast of new developments affecting benefits generally.

Responsible for the regular monitoring of clients accounts, ensuring client and housing benefit payments are received in accordance with our contract with clients and the Income Recovery Procedure.

Responsible for carrying out regular arrears recovery work in accordance with the Income Recovery Procedure

To regularly monitor Housing Benefit income to ensure benefit is received and in payment. If benefit has ceased to ascertain reasons why and take necessary steps to reinstate it. Similarly, if Housing Benefit payments have not been made within a specific time period from date of claim to ascertain reason for non-payment and take steps to ensure payment is made.

Responsible for contacting clients who have not made payments or have failed to pay the required amount and take steps to recover the debt. To contact clients whose housing benefit claim has not been processed due to lack of information or documentation; interviewing clients where necessary. Cancelling accommodation as appropriate.

Responsible for the monitoring of agreements made with clients in relation to arrears of temporary accommodation charges and housing benefit and to liaise with Legal Services as appropriate where agreements have been broken.

To attend County Court to give evidence if required for current, former client or housing benefit arrears.

To regularly update the computer system where housing benefit assessments are varied and to monitor client payments ensuring they are in accordance with any change in housing benefit. Where appropriate, to notify client(s) of change in benefit. To update the computer system with any income, Housing Benefit or other changes due to items such as confirmed assessments or change in income etc.

To calculate housing benefit payable to Housing Needs in respect of each client and to advise clients of provisional assessment at time of placement into temporary accommodation

To update client’s accounts where the accommodation charge is varied for any reason, notifying clients of any change and to ensure correct payments are received.

To monitor income recovery and prepare reports or statistics where required.

To pursue clients to recover debts and, where unsuccessful, to identify debts for approval to be written off, providing evidence in support of this.

To investigate and respond to customer complaints orally or draft written response. To respond to advice agencies, solicitors or client advocates.

To research changes to current regulations and to draft amendments to existing procedures where appropriate. To keep up to date with changes.

To liaise with the Finance Officer providing support as required in respect of invoice checking / payment.

To participate in the training of new or existing staff as required.

To provide cover and assist other members of the team as required and to specifically provide cover for the Finance Officer in their absence and, in exceptional circumstances, to provide cover for the Accommodation Team

To undertake any other duties as instructed by the Client Income Manager, the Accommodation and Income Manager or Head of Housing Needs.

Knowledge and Experience:

Essential

  • Educated to minimum Degree-level standard or equivalent
  • Experience of working in a financial environment and dealing with client income arrears and Housing Benefit recovery.
  • Experience of dealing with clients orally, in writing and in person.
  • Experience of using computer packages including finance applications.

Desirable

  • Knowledge of welfare benefits.
  • Experience of using computer packages including finance applications.

Experience of dealing and liaising with solicitors, advice agencies and client advocates.

Reference: 34417369

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