Welfare Benefits Advisor
Disability Law Service is seeking an experienced welfare benefits advisor to join our team delivering a welfare benefits telephone information, advice and casework service to disabled people.
You must be able to demonstrate experience of delivering welfare rights advice to individuals covering the full range of benefits.
The post will be based at DLS office in Vauxhall, London. Remote or hybrid working can be considered.
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 4,500 cases. We are a Disabled People’s Organisation (DPO), which means that we are user-led, with 75% of our trustees and over 50% of our employees being disabled people. We take the widest possible view of disability and particularly welcome applications from those with physical or mental health impairments and those with neurodiverse conditions
To apply send a cv and covering letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday 13th December 2021.
For more information visit our website at www.dls.org.uk
Post title: Welfare Benefits Advisor
Hours: 35 hours per week (variable shifts)
Salary: £28,000 per annum
Annual Leave: 25 Days plus 1 day p.a. for each completed year of service
Place of work: Vauxhall, London (hybrid working, including remotely from home, will be considered)
Responsible to: Senior Welfare Benefits Advisor
About Disability Law Service
We are a small but growing disabled persons organisation – this means that at least 75% of our trustees are disabled people and over 50% of our paid staff are disabled people. We have charitable status.
We provide free legal advice to disabled people and their carers. Established in 1975 we provide advice covering employment, discrimination, welfare benefits, community care, housing and debt. 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 support of other disability charities. Our policy work is supported in Parliament by our patron, Rt. Hon. Sir Ed Davey MP, and we have academic support from another patron, Professor Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice at the School of Law, Leeds University.
We are also involved in the development of technology to improve access to justice and are launching an online automated legal advice platform in the area of reasonable adjustments for disabled people under the 2010 Equality Act.
About this Post
The purpose of this role is to offer a telephone information, advice and casework service on welfare benefits for disabled people in England and Wales. Th post-holder will also deliver training on welfare benefits to other organisations and their helpline staff.
Normal working hours are 9.30 to 5.30 Monday to Friday, but you will be expected to adjust these hours on occasions (to either 9am – 5pm or 11am to 7pm) in order to cover for other colleagues who may be off sick or on leave.
Working with the Senior Welfare Benefits Advisor, it will be your duty to ensure that services are delivered to the highest standard, are accessible and quality assured.
Duties and responsibilities:
- To provide information, advice and casework to people contacting Disability Law Service on welfare benefits and tax credit problems and at outreach sessions as required, it being understood that your predominant role in this regard will be to provide a helpline service with limited casework.
- To provide training on welfare benefits (including form filling) to other organisations and their volunteers, with the aim of spending an average of half a day each week on such training. To keep a diary of all such training activities in order to facilitate accurate reports to funders.
- To provide representation to clients at Appeal Tribunals and other relevant hearings, where appropriate.
- To maintain an up to date knowledge of relevant changes in law and policy and undertake training as required.
- To support other staff in developing new approaches to advice-giving, including through digital services
- To ensure that all casework complies with the standards and policies of DLS, and SQM.
- To carry out regular file reviews and provide casework supervision and in turn, participate in being supervised and appraised.
- To keep accurate case records and use the appropriate case management systems.
- Liaise with other voluntary and statutory bodies as necessary.
- To provide advice and assistance to staff across the range of welfare benefits issues.
- Where appropriate, to provide advice or support to helpline staff in partner organisations
- To work as part of a team.
- To participate in staff and team meetings and contribute to DLS activities as appropriate.
- To meet agreed targets, manage own workload and provide reports on work as required.
- To work within the policies of DLS.
- Have proven experience (paid or unpaid) in advice work and representation at benefit appeals
- Have in-depth current knowledge of the benefits system and of forthcoming changes
- Know how to find social security law, be experienced in working from, and able to interpret social security Acts, regulations and caselaw.
- Have excellent communication skills including being able to deliver benefits advice over the telephone and in writing.
- Be able to advise clearly and concisely by email.
- Be able to deliver advice at the appropriate level for frontline staff whether their benefits knowledge is basic or advanced.
- Be able to work under pressure, on your own initiative, but also to be part of a team