Universal Credit – Help to Claim – Welfare Rights Adviser (Full time and Part Time roles available)

Welfare Rights Specialist

Job details

Job title:  Welfare Rights Specialist (Universal Credit - Help to Claim) Various hours available and flexible working arrangements.

Reporting to: Chief Executive

Location: Citizens Advice Edinburgh - Leith Bureau, 23 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8PG or depending on the needs of the service, work may be carried out at outreach locations as required and our other Bureaux:

  • 58 Dundas Street, Edinburgh, EH3 6QZ

  • 8A&B Bath Street, EH15 1EY

  • 137 Dundee Street, EH11

Salary:     £26,650 per annum [Full Time Equivalent]

Benefits:          Annual leave - 25 days and 10 public holidays FTE

Pension:          7% employer’s contribution

Hours:             Part time - Flexible hours ranging from 3 to 4 days per week

Term:              Fixed Term for 12 Months to 31 March 2020

Job purpose

A unique opportunity has arisen to join the team at Citizens Advice Edinburgh (CAE) and help us deliver on a new and exciting project aimed at improving the service that is currently being offered to Universal Credit Claimants.

This project is being delivered with funding from Citizens Advice Scotland’s in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions (UK Government).

The Welfare Rights Specialist must a solid background in welfare rights advice and have experience of dealing with complex welfare rights cases, including a knowledge and understanding of the Tribunal and Appeals Process. 

Welfare Rights Specialists must also have experience in debt management and income maximisation and an ability to help clients with basic budgeting and negotiating with others to resolve debt and maximise their income.

As this is a new service, the Welfare Rights Specialist must also have knowledge and skills in designing and delivering training and coaching, as this role will include engaging staff, volunteers, partner organisations, elected members and the public in practical training and advice workshops.

The Welfare Rights Specialist, must also have knowledge and skills in supporting and developing a team of specialist volunteer advisers.

Universal Credit has been controversial, but it exists and CAE are committed to ensuring that the public understand their entitlement and that we offer them every support we can to maximise their income.  The Welfare Rights Specialist must be able promote a reasonable overview of Universal Credit and to ensure that facts are collated about its impact to influence social policy.  

Citizens Advice Edinburgh is an independent charity delivering free, confidential and impartial advice and support to people living and working in Edinburgh.  Every year, we deal with over 25,000 enquiries for advice, from over 13,000 individual clients.  Around 75% of that relates primarily to Welfare Rights and Income Maximisation.

Key deliverables

  • Provide specialist welfare rights advice to clients of CAE, particularly in relation to Universal Credit and other welfare entitlement as required.

  • Design and deliver workshop based practical Welfare Rights training to CAE’s staff, volunteers, external stakeholders and the public, to improve their understanding and access to Universal Credit and to improve Digital Inclusion. 

  • Recruit and support a team of volunteer Universal Credit advisers and ensure timely and accurate handling of cases, in line with our policies, procedures and funding requirements.

  • Engage and work with internal and external stakeholders to promote the successful delivery of this project.

  • Ensure that CAE collates evidence of the impact of Universal Credit and work alongside the Chief Executive on how that should influence social policy.

Person Specification

Essential criteria:

Technical

  • Solid understanding of up to date Welfare Rights legislation and its application.

  • Demonstrable experience of dealing with complex welfare rights

  • A knowledge and understanding of the tribunal and appeals process and confidence to represent clients in this environment.

  • Experience of designing and delivering training/coaching including using a range of learning methods such as presentation, facilitation, coaching, peer and social learning techniques.

·         Ability to coach and develop others in providing welfare rights advice.

·         An evidenced commitment to continuous professional development.

  • Proficient in use of IT systems and Microsoft Office programs including Outlook word and Powerpoint with a willingness to learn new systems.

  • Ability to provide high quality reports against project targets and outcomes.

Values and Behaviours:

  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

  • Persuasive and diplomatic with strong influencing skills, able to adapt personal style to different situations and individuals.

  • Approachable and friendly; able to build strong working relationships with a range of stakeholders, based on trust and respect.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality at all time.

  • Strong stakeholder management experience

  • Demonstrable commitment to the aims and principles of CAE.

Desirable Criteria:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent

  • Understanding and previous experience of the political and social policy context in UK and Scottish Governments

  • Experience and understanding of the voluntary sector

The Application Process

Application deadline:          Friday the 22nd of March 12 noon

Interview date:                      TBC – Between the 26th -29th of March

Interview location:                23 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8PG

Interview format:                   50 minute panel interview.

Please email your completed application to benjamin.napier@caed.org.uk

The Selection Process

Candidates invited for interview will be provided with the project bid as further information on the role and should be familiar with the range, history and focus of services provided by CAE as detailed on our website.  Candidates should also have an extensive knowledge of Scottish and UK Welfare System, particularly Universal Credit and supporting people to gain access to welfare rights.  Candidates should be prepared to substantiate your answers with detailed evidence from practice experience.