Help to Claim Adviser

Citizens Advice Northumberland 

Job Title: Help to Claim Adviser

Salary:    £19,623 to £20,869 pro rata depending on experience

Hours:    As part of our commitment to being a flexible employer, applications are welcomed from candidates who are able to offer up to 37 hours a week.

Contract length: This post is currently funded until 31st March 2021 but with the potential for funding beyond this date.

Location: Ashington or Hexham but with travel to other offices dependent on need.

Closing date: Tuesday 27th October 9.00am

Interview date: Monday 2nd November

Citizens Advice Northumberland has 2 opportunities to work within the Help to Claim project, a service which offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives. 

We are looking for advisers with a good working knowledge of the benefits system and excellent IT skills, to support clients to make and complete their new Universal Credit claim, via the telephone, webchat and face to face. 

Applying for the job:

To find out more about the role and to request an application pack, contact:

Sarah Hall:   07384510724  sarahhall@citizensadvicenorthumberland.org.uk

The Citizens Advice Service

Role Context 

Citizens Advice Northumberland’s 150 volunteers and staff work with over 20,000 people every year to address more than 40,000 issues every year, providing free, independent, impartial and high quality advice. Our service gives people the knowledge and the confidence they need to find their way forward – whoever they are, and whatever their problem. 

We provide “drop-in” face-to-face support at 9 main offices and additional outreach premises across Northumberland, and further support via our telephone and digital service.

The main areas of advice we cover are welfare benefits, debt, housing, fuel poverty and employment, but we are the only service who is there to support everyone whatever their issue. We provide additional specialist casework services for universal credit, debt, fuel poverty, and welfare benefits.

We value diversity, promote equality and challenge discrimination wherever we find it, and through our research and campaigning we speak up on the issues that affect people’s lives. 

Role Purpose

Help to Claim offers end-to-end support to help people make a new Universal Credit claim and be ready for when their first payment arrives.

We are looking for advisers with a good working knowledge of the benefits system and excellent IT skills, to support clients to make and complete their new Universal Credit claim, via the telephone, webchat and face to face. 

You’ll have the ability to interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills to get to the root of the issues and empower clients, whilst maintaining structure and control of meetings.

Main Duties

Advice and information

  • Interview clients using sensitive listening and questioning skills in order to allow clients to explain their problem(s) and empower them to set their own priorities.
  • Support clients to use IT to make their new Universal Credit claim.
  • Use Citizens Advice resources to find, interpret and communicate the relevant information to clients.
  • Complete benefits checks when appropriate.
  • Research and explore options and implications so that clients can make informed decisions.
  • Act for the client where necessary using appropriate communication skills and channels.
  • Identify the need for and refer internally or to other specialist agencies as appropriate.
  • Ensure that work reflects and supports the Citizens Advice service’s equality and diversity strategy.

 Maintaining service delivery

  • Complete the required training to comply with quality assurance processes.
  • Ensure that all work meets quality standards and the requirements of the funder.
  • Ensure continued conformity to the organisation’s systems and procedures and quality standards.
  • Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, report preparation and quality checking.

Research and campaigns

  • Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients’ circumstances. 
  • Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
  • Assist in the identification of areas for development and priorities for future campaigns.

Learning and development

  • Keep up to date with legislation, policies and procedures and undertake appropriate training.
  • Read relevant publications to maintain knowledge and expertise.
  • Prepare for and attend relevant supervision sessions / staff meetings / Trustee Board meetings as required.

 Administration

  • Use of IT software for statistical recording of information relating to research and campaigns and funding requirements, record keeping and document production. 
  • Ensure GDPR compliant training is completed on an annual basis. 
  • Ensure that all work conforms to your organisation’s systems and procedures.

Other duties

  • Uphold the aims, policies, and membership requirements of Citizens Advice.  
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.
  • Adhere to the organisation’s information assurance policies and procedures and report any breaches or incidents of non-compliance.  
  • Undertake any other duties that are consistent with the level of the post and ensure the effective delivery and development of the organisation’s services.

Person Specification

Person Specification – Help to Claim Adviser

Essential Requirements 

  1. An understanding of, and commitment to, the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service and its equal opportunities policies.
  2. A good working understanding of the benefits system, and in particular of Universal Credit and the potential impact on claimants.
  3. Ability to carry out accurate benefit check calculations.
  4. A commitment to helping people and a professional, approachable and non-judgemental manner.
  5. Ability to use sensitive listening and questioning skills to get to the root of the issues and empower clients, whilst maintaining structure and control of discussions with them.
  6. Ability to write full and accurate case records
  7. Ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
  8. Ability to use IT systems and packages, and resources in the provision of advice, record keeping and document production.
  9. Good IT knowledge with an ability to support clients with their online claim application.
  10. Good oral communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on a clear and concise style.
  11. Ability and willingness to work as part of a team.
  12. A commitment to continuous professional development, including a willingness to develop knowledge and skills in advice topics.
  13. Ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships with external stakeholders.
  14. An appreciation for the importance of storing and processing personal data in line with data protection regulations (GDPR).
  15. Ability to monitor and maintain standards for advice provision and quality assurance.
  16. Regular use of a car for work purposes.

Desirable

  1. Experience of delivering advice to the Advice Quality Standard through a variety of mediums.
  1. Basic knowledge of multiple enquiry areas to aid with identifying emergencies and making referrals where appropriate.

Further Information

1. Closing date: Tuesday 27th October 9.00am
2. Interview date: Interviews will be held on: Monday 2nd November
3. Normal hours of work for a full-time worker are Monday to Thursday 9.00am to
5.00pm and Friday 9.00am to 4.30pm including a 30 minute unpaid break.
4. Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank
holidays).
5. Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business.
6. If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Sarah Hall,
in the first instance to arrange this, using the contact details below.

 

Contact Information

Completed applications (CV’s will not be accepted) should be returned to:

Sarah Hall
Citizens Advice Northumberland
South East and Remote Advice Hub
Unit 6, Sovereign House
Sovereign Business Park
Epsom Drive
Ashington
NE63 8UG

07384510724
Alternatively completed applications can be emailed to
sarahhall@citizensadvicenorthumberland.org.uk

Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.