Reading Community Welfare Rights Unit are seeking a motivated, experienced Benefits Caseworker; a self-starter with knowledge and experience of the welfare benefits system. You must be able to hit the ground running and work unsupervised to manage welfare cases.
You must have recent, significant experience of managing a welfare caseload, involving advice and tribunal representation work for clients regarding their benefits. You will provide an effective and efficient specialist welfare casework service, adhering to our aims, policies and principals at our office, working from home and at other agreed venues.
- Experienced Benefits Caseworker with recent and significant knowledge of the welfare benefits system, especially UC, HB, PIP and council tax exemption rules.
- Ability to manage a complex welfare benefits caseload, unsupervised.
- Using your knowledge to advise clients of their entitlement to benefits. You should also be familiar with various benefits calculators.
- Ability to; support clients to claim certain benefits, support clients through the mandatory reconsideration and tribunal appeal stages
- Strong advocacy skills, including the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing in a persuasive, professional manner.
Key work areas and tasks
- Provide casework covering the full range of Welfare Benefits.
- Act for the client where necessary by; calculating, negotiating, drafting or writing letters & telephoning.
- Negotiate with third parties as appropriate.
- Ensure income maximisation through the take-up of appropriate Welfare Benefits.
- Prepare cases to the appropriate statutory bodies and tribunals as appropriate.
- Ensure that all casework follows office practice
- Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring and report preparation.
- Ensure all work conforms to our systems and procedures.
- Assist with Social Policy work by providing information about clients circumstances.
- Alert other staff to local and national issues.
- Keep up to date with legislation, case law, policies and procedures relating to Welfare Benefits and undertake appropriate training.
- Read relevant publications.
- Attend relevant internal and external meetings as agreed with the Unit Manager.
- Prepare for and attend supervision sessions and team meetings as appropriate.
- Assist with service initiatives for the improvement of services.
- Keep up to date with policies and procedures relevant to our work and undertake appropriate training.
- Attend external and internal meetings as agreed with the Unit Manager.
- Contribute to work towards relevant quality standards
Other duties and responsibilities
- Carry out any other tasks that may be within the scope of the post to ensure the effective delivery and development of our service.
- Demonstrate commitment to the aims and policies of our organisation.
- Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for your own and others safety.
- Carry out other related tasks as required to ensure the efficient provision of our service.
- Recent and significant Knowledge and experience of the Welfare system and rules relating to UC, PIP, HB and Council tax exemption.
- Effective oral communication skills with a particular emphasis on negotiating and representing.
- Effective written skills with a strong emphasis on negotiating, representing and preparing reports, reviews and correspondence.
- A methodical approach to casework and an ability and willingness to follow and develop agreed procedures.
- Understand the issues involved in interviewing clients.
- You must be numerate and literate.
- Ability to prioritise your own work, meet deadlines and manage caseloads.
- Ability to use IT to provide advice, to be able to record case notes and prepare reports, letters and submissions.
- Ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively, with a willingness to challenge constructively.
- Ability and willingness to work as part of a team.
- Demonstrate an understanding of social trends and their implications for clients and service provision.
- Demonstrate understanding and commitment to the aims and principals of our equal opportunities policy.
See the advert on the Reading Welfare Rights Unit website
- Please send an initial email to firstname.lastname@example.org outlining how you meet all five Essential skills listed above.
- If your skills and experience reach the required standard, you will then receive our application pack. At this stage, we would be happy to arrange an informal discussion about the role.
- Please note that if we receive a large number of applications, we will close the application early, before the stated deadline for applications. Candidates are therefore advised to apply as quickly as possible.