Welfare Benefits Advisor
London – £30,970 per annum
This is based on 35 hours per week, usually worked between 9.30 to 17.30.
Disability Law Service is a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO), which means that we are user-led, with 75% of our trustees and well over 50% of our employees being disabled people. DLS are strongly committed to the principles of equality and diversity, and we never discriminate. However, we recognise that having personal lived experience of disability can enhance your ability to relate to the issues our clients experience, and we consider disability an asset in potential employees.
DLS is seeking a welfare benefits advisor to join our team delivering a welfare benefits information and advice service. This is an opportunity to work in a unique organisation – we believe we are the only disabled-led national organisation focusing on legal and benefits issues affecting disabled people.
The project you will primarily be working on has been running for several years. There are 12 months left in the current grant and we have recently been advised that will be extended for a further 18 months. We are also planning on growing our benefits team through a range of fundraising activities. The demand on our services has increased considerably over recent years, and especially so during the cost of living crisis.
The attached job description will give you more information about the specific duties, regular and occasional, relevant to the role. But in summary you will provide welfare benefits advice and information by telephone, email and video meeting, and periodically you will run outreach sessions whether those are delivered in person or online. You will give guidance on matters relevant to disabled people relating to welfare benefits, tax credits, Local Authority financial assistance and grants. You will also provide feedback and monitor and develop the service to ensure those needs are effectively met.
The person specification sets out the essential and desirable experience, skills and knowledge we are looking for.
You will work closely the existing Senior Benefits Advisor who will line manage you and also have oversight of the project you are jointly working on. You will also work with the wider staff team of 15 people (currently) and especially the other benefits advisers. There is a strong team-ethic and good staff morale in the organisation.
Disability Law Service is a unique national charity providing a legal service for disabled people. Last year we were contacted by 30,000 people and gave help in 4,000 cases. We provide free legal advice to disabled people and their carers. Established in 1975 we provide advice covering employment, discrimination, welfare benefits, community care and housing. Our advice service is why we are here and is at the heart of what we do. But it is not all that we do.
Our practical experience with our clients together with our legal expertise means that we are well placed to be involved in advocating for changes in laws and policies, whether at our own initiative or in collaboration with other disability charities.
You can choose between working at the Disability Law Service office in Vauxhall, London, or hybrid working. The expectation is that you will be delivering some outreach sessions across London. You may occasionally need to deliver some training sessions in other parts of the country. And we try to get everyone together in the office weekly or at least monthly. However we are no stranger to using technology to facilitate effective remote working for those people who prefer it and it’s possible in terms of the role. On occasions, to cover other staff members’ absence, you may need to flex your working hours to start at 9.00 or finish as late as 19:00. This is to meet our responsibilities under other projects. This will be agreed in advance when covering annual leave, and you will be able to take time off in lieu. However there are four people in the team currently and we hope to grow this, so the load can be spread out.
We are looking to recruit 1.0 FTE (35 hours) but we will also consider recruiting two people 0.6 FTE (21 hours) if we get the right combination of applicants. On your application you should specify if you would prefer 0.6 FTE, 1.0 FTE, or would be genuinely happy with either. We appreciate that sometimes part-time work can support people with fluctuating conditions or major suit other people for worklife balance. The exact hours and days that you were would be negotiated to fit in with your preferences and our ability to meet service delivery requirements.
How to apply, and guaranteed interviews
To apply send a CV and covering statement of no more than 3 pages of A4. In your statement you should set out why you are interested in the role, and how you meet the requirements set out in the person specification. You can draw on examples of paid work and volunteering where applicable. Make sure you give us enough information to help us decide that you are the right candidate to shortlist. We will be scoring application forms against the person specification, so ensure you cover each point where you can.
Your statement should also indicate your FTE preferences (see above) and also reference your availability on the planned interview dates (see below). When it’s complete please email your statement and CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that we will not score applications without the supporting statement, or where it is clear from the CV that the applicant does not have the relevant experience. We need someone who can hit the ground running. We will however review each person’s skills and abilities at the end of the probationary period and have a track record of accessing effective technical training where that is helpful.
If it is apparent from your application that you are disabled, we commit to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum eligibility requirements. This normally means good scoring against the majority of the essential criteria. If we receive a large number of disabled applicants we may restrict the guaranteed interviews to the highest ranking.
Closing date for applications: Monday 16 October at 9:00
Shortlisting: week commencing Monday 16 October
We will be holding the following four dates for interviews: Wednesday 1 November, Thursday 2 November, Monday 6 November and Wednesday 8 November
You should advise in your application if you are unavailable for any of those dates. We may take your availability into consideration when shortlisting. Therefore you should endeavour to keep these dates free. If we call you in for interview we will offer you a timeslot based on the above availability. We may not be able to offer alternative interview slots.
Interviews will be approximately two hours long, comprising a structured interview of 45-50 minutes, followed by a short break, followed by some written exercises. We anticipate conducting these interviews online. You should therefore have access to a computer that you can use comfortably and meets any of your own access needs if any. We can give more information to successful applicants.
If disabled applicants need reasonable adjustments to enable them to participate equally in the interview process we have a track record of doing that in a supportive way.
If there are any specific points that you would like clarification on, or if you want to set up a phone call to have an informal chat about the role, you can contact Jo on email@example.com