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Financial Inclusion and Welfare Rights Officer in Stockport

Financial Inclusion and Welfare Rights Officer in Stockport

Job Title: Financial Inclusion and Welfare Rights Officer

Location: Stockport, SK1 3TS

Salary: £24,375.00 - £26,198.00 per annum

We are recruiting on behalf of Creative Support for a Financial Inclusion and Welfare Rights Officer in Stockport. Creative Support is a not-for-profit organisation promoting the independence, inclusion and wellbeing of people with care and support needs. We do this by working with the people we support, their families and partner agencies to deliver innovative, high-quality services to meet individual needs and aspirations.

Summary of the Job:

The post holder will be responsible for the management of a caseload of corporate appointeeships. These will be vulnerable adults unable to manage their own finances and whom require support to claim and manage DWP benefit claims. The post holder will ensure that all benefits are maximised and that the client has access to finances for the purpose of daily living costs, bills, activities and any other sundries.

The post holder will have some knowledge and preferably experience of working with the DWP benefits system and will be responsible for providing welfare rights and budgeting advice to all clients and support staff at Creative Support as and when required. This may include the delivery of corporate training to staff and clients or developing help documents and briefings.

The post holder should expect some national travel on occasion, visiting our services and offering advice and support and information to clients, staff within local offices and other relevant parties including (but not limited to) Social Workers and family members.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • To act as a corporate appointee for a caseload of specified vulnerable clients and to follow the corporate Code of Conduct for Appointees at all times.
  • Ensure that all clients under appointeeship receive their full benefit entitlement and that any relevant changes in circumstances are reported to the appropriate benefit agency promptly to prevent any under / overpayments of benefits.
  • Make sure that as clients migrate to different benefits e.g. PIP, Universal Credit or Pension Credit, that claims are initiated and claimed promptly and correctly and that the client is not affected adversely by any negative decisions made by the DWP.
  • Where any benefit agency makes a decision that appears to be incorrect, an Officer should promptly follow the appropriate appeals process to ensure that we do everything to ensure the client’s benefits remain maximised. This may include attending benefit tribunals.
  • To always manage corporate appointeeships in a person centred way, which promotes the independence of the client as far as possible whilst acting in the best interests of the client. This will include visiting clients where appropriate and discussing their finances with them and other relevant parties.
  • Administer and monitor corporate appointee bank accounts, ensuring all financial arrangements are properly documented within agency guidelines. This will also involve liaising with our Relationship team at Barclays bank and using the online banking portal to set up standing orders and print off bank statements
  • To administer and monitor the use of the pre-pay card system used at Creative Support for the purpose of clients accessing their weekly finances and pay for sundries as necessary. This includes populating a monthly spreadsheet, checking requisitions and ensuring that the client has enough money on the pre-pay platform to facilitate access to the monies needed.
  • To ensure that all bills are set up by direct debit from the corporate bank account where possible but where paid by other methods to ensure this is done promptly to avoid additional charges or court summons for late payments.
  • To ensure that whenever a significant decision needs to be made in relation to the appointeeship and where the client does not have capacity to make this decision themselves that a best interest meeting will be held (which the post holder may be required to attend) and that the post holder follows the decision resulting from this meeting.
  • To ensure that with regards to large purchases, due consideration has been shown for value for money and taking into consideration the client’s personal choices where appropriate.
  • To carry out (where appropriate) initial visits to potential new appointees and assess the need for this arrangement using agency guidelines. To use this visit to obtain all appropriate information including (but not limited to) name, address, national insurance number, landlord and any arrears information.
  • To provide welfare benefits and budgeting advice to all Creative Support services when needed and regardless of whether the service has any appointees within it.
  • To support staff to maximise our clients income through the delivery of training, attendance at staff Team Meetings and advice to increase their awareness and knowledge of benefits available and to assist with difficult benefit claims and appeals.

Essential Experience

  • Experience of general administration and record keeping
  • Experience of working in social housing and supported housing
  • A working knowledge of welfare rights and the benefits system and experience of giving advice and information
  • Understanding of data protection & confidentiality issues
  • Familiarity with computerised records and accounts
  • A relevant vocational qualification
  • Good first degree or equivalent qualification
  • Good numeracy skills
  • Ability to analyse and interpret complex written and numerical information
  • Excellent IT and data management skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Outlook and Excel
  • Excellent time management skills, including the ability to work on a variety of tasks and multiple projects and to prioritise these effectively on own initiative and using self-motivation
  • Ability to deal effectively with challenging situations and/or persons diplomatically but assertively
  • Ability to engage effectively, meaningfully and sensitively with service users from a range of client groups
  • Ability to build strong working relationships both internally and externally
  • Excellent customer care skills and the ability to respond to a wide range of enquiries.
  • Willingness to consult colleagues and to work as part of a team
  • Courteous, friendly and professional telephone manner and e-mail style both internally and externally
  • Ability to work out of hours and attend evening/weekend meetings as and when required
  • A commitment to continuous improvement of services, sharing ideas with manager and colleagues
  • Willing to accept constructive feedback and adapt actions/behaviour accordingly
  • A commitment to equal opportunity policies and practices
  • Willing to attend training courses and events
  • Willing to travel nationally based upon the needs of the services
  • Good work ethic, timekeeping, attendance, professionalism and reliability

Benefits

  • A one-off bonus of £100 upon successful completion of the 4-month probationary period.
  • Competitive pay and a pension with company contribution and 25 days annual leave plus 8 statutory bank holidays
  • Company paid enhanced DBS for all staff
  • Free employee support programme
  • All our staff are supported 24/7 by our out-of-hours teams
  • Support to complete the nationally recognised Care Certificate and Social Care Diploma

Hours of Work:
Full-time hours are based on a nominal 37.5 hours per week. To be worked flexibly according to operational business needs. The post holder will be expected to have a flexible approach to working hours in order to meet the needs of our staff and service users. There is a requirement to take part in the Local On-Call Rota for which additional payments are made. When required to work on rota.

Job Location: Stockport, SK1 3TS

Employment Type: Permanent Contract

Salary: £24,375.00 – £26,198.00 per annum

Opening Date: Mon Jul 01 2024