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Welfare Benefits Officer

  • Job reference: jt0077
  • Location: Hammersmith and Fulham, London
  • Job type: Temporary
  • Area of Expertise: Advice
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Job description: Welfare Reform Officer, Hammersmith and Fulham
A London based council are recruiting for a Welfare Reform Officer based in Hammersmith, to work intensively with financially, socially, or economically excluded people in a meaningful holistic and person centred way. To create and maintain strong partnership links and work with multiple agencies to improve resident`s circumstances.
To provide advice and assistance to Council tenants affected by the Welfare Reform, including providing support to residents on a wide range of welfare benefits to enable them to optimise their income and therefore increase their ability to pay rent and services charges as required by their tenancy and avoid rent arrears and the potential loss of their home.

The Role
Your key duties within the role will include:
-Work closely with Rental Income Support Officer within the Rental Income Team to identify residents requiring support due to being affected by the Welfare Reforms. The focus of advice and assistance will be on the Welfare Reforms but will also include the full range of other welfare benefits (including Housing Benefit and Universal Credit) which can optimise the financial position of residents.
-Mitigate financial risk from Universal Credit through early intervention work with residents at the point of becoming aware of the Universal Credit claim. Demonstrate commercial awareness that approximately £25m a year in housing costs will be paid direct to residents through Universal Credit and income maximisation.
-To liaise with services, delivering completed claims, support documents, change of circumstances notification & other related information as required. To work within agreed service levels, ensuring that both parties are committed to resolving all outstanding issues
-To act as a Universal Credit & Housing Benefit source to the Rental Income Team and the Housing Officers, contributing to training & induction for new staff members within the service as required. Supporting Housing Officers & Rental Income Support Officers working across all tenures to support clients affecting by the welfare reform.
-To maintain partnership working with the Department for Work & Pension (DWP), other statutory bodies & Voluntary organisations in the delivery of income collection services to improve tenant`s ability to sustain their tenancies & improve their economic well-being.
-Close liaison with the Department of Works & Pension to challenge and request revision regarding a benefit decision on the tenant`s behalf.
-To assist claimants in cases of benefit shortfall to claim top up payments from the hardship fund to avoid homelessness or otherwise to sustain tenancies.
-Monitor & progress-chase benefit claims not in payment, liaising with the Housing Benefit Services, Customers, the DWP and other relevant bodies and visiting claimants in homes as appropriate.
-Close liaison with the Housing Benefit Department to challenge a negative Housing Benefit decision, request backdating of award and removal of overpayment amounts from the rent account. Work with the Council Tax Departments to stop enforcement actions which includes committal orders to prison
-In the event of a benefit claim not being processed as a result of a claimant failing to cooperate, take appropriate remedial action including recommending the recovery action continues which may include referral to court or recommendation to evict.
The Candidate
-Good applied knowledge and understanding of welfare benefits and the statutory framework in which they operate
The Contract
This is a contact starting 17th June up to 6th September 2019, working 37 hours per week, Monday to Friday.

Why work with Service Care Solutions?
-An exclusive range of Social Housing vacancies across the UK
-Free DBS processing
-Provider of Housing staff to over 200 local authorities and 100 Housing Associations.
-Frequent notifications for upcoming opportunities via text and email
-£250 referral bonus if you refer a successful candidate and they complete a probationary period

How to Apply
If you wish to apply for the role, please send over a copy of your CV to Jason Thomas at Service Care Solutions (Jason. thomas @ service care. org .uk) or feel free to call Jason on 01772 208 966.