Outline of Role
This is a great opportunity for you to learn all about Welfare Benefits, from finding out about conditions of entitlement to challenging decisions at appeal.
Whether you already have some knowledge and you want to make use of this to help others, or if you have no experience and are keen to learn, this role could provide you with an interesting and challenging volunteering opportunity.
Our volunteer Welfare Benefit Advisers offer advice to clients with disabilities and carers throughout Norfolk. They may help by completing benefit claim forms, explaining decisions, or challenging decisions where the client believes these are incorrect (up to and including mandatory reconsideration stage). We also have volunteer Welfare Benefit Appeal Representatives who support clients beyond this stage.
This work is carried out at our main office base and various outreaches around Norfolk.
Full training is available to provide you with the skills and knowledge required to carry out this.
The Welfare Benefit Adviser role could involve assisting our clients with some/all of the following:
Identifying benefits they may be entitled to
- Assisting them to make claims, including support with form filling
- Offering advice around the appeal process
- Challenging decisions (mandatory reconsiderations)
- Offering information by telephone or email
- Signposting or referring clients on to other organisations where appropriate.
- Keeping accurate and up to date case notes
- Ongoing learning to ensure knowledge is kept up to date and accurate
All volunteers are required to undertake our core training programme. This covers basic safeguarding and other key features.
Role specific training will be delivered to provide volunteers with an understanding of welfare rights, the appeal process and challenging decisions. Ongoing training and support will be provided
There is an additional opportunity to participate in a variety of accredited training courses. Please ask for further details.
Volunteers are required to adhere to the organisation’s policies and practice guidelines.
Reasonable expenses, including travel whilst undertaking this role will be reimbursed. This includes mileage (currently £0.45 p/mile) and parking costs.
Applications must include 2 satisfactory references. Applicants must complete a Disclosure and Barring Service check.
- An awareness of disabling barriers and how these might impact upon clients, their families and carers
- Honesty and integrity
- An ability to be empathic, whilst maintaining professional boundaries
- Reliability, and only committing to a level of volunteering which is realistic
- Good interpersonal skills
- Confident and outgoing
- The ability to be non-judgemental
- Good verbal and written communication skills
- Excellent listening skills
- Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a team
- Sound administrative skills, and an ability to maintain accurate case records
- Commitment to attend training courses and team meetings
Ability to follow organisational policies and procedures including safeguarding, data protection and health and safety