Macmillan/Citizens Advice Benefits Caseworker – South East Northumberland

Salary:  £21,745 to £23,166 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.

Responsible to: Advice Service Manager – South East

Role Purpose:  To provide a high quality advice and casework service to the organisation’s clients in welfare benefits, with a particular responsibility for supporting people with cancer.

  • To provide mentoring and support to other workers which helps to develop their skills and expertise in welfare benefits.

The post holder will be part of a team responsible for delivering a high quality welfare benefits advice service across the county through telephone/digital channels and community based outreach work.

The post holder will have a base in Ashington but travel across the south east of the county will be required to deliver community based outreach services.

The Citizens Advice Service

The aims of the Citizens Advice service are:

  • To provide the advice people need for the problems they face
  • To improve the policies and practices that affect people’s lives.

Citizens advice Northumberland provides free, independent, confidential and impartial advice to everyone on their rights and responsibilities.  It values diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination.

In furtherance of its aims the service follows policies of non-discrimination and seeks to be an Equal Opportunities Employer.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Advice and casework

  • Provide a full casework service in welfare benefits with a particular responsibility for supporting people affected by cancer.
  • Deliver the service by a range of methods as required including telephone/digital channels, appointments, outreach work and home visits.
  • Act for clients where necessary by calculating entitlement, completing forms, negotiating with third parties, drafting or writing letters as appropriate.
  • Assist clients with other related problems particularly employment, housing and debt related issues where they are an integral part of the case.
  • Refer to other advisers or specialist agencies as appropriate.
  • Prepare and present cases to statutory bodies, tribunals and courts as required.
  • Maintain standards of service delivery and ensure that casework conforms to the Citizens Advice membership requirements and the Advice Quality Standard.
  • Maintain case records for the purpose of continuity of casework, information retrieval, statistical monitoring, report preparation and quality checking.
  • Ensure that all work conforms to the organisation’s systems, policies and procedures.
  • Comply with the systems for monitoring and reporting on client satisfaction and the outcomes of advice.
  • Work in partnership with colleagues to ensure that the service meets key performance indicators and/or targets agreed with funders.
  • Assist in the smooth running of the organisation by providing back-up and emergency cover for other parts of the service as required.

Research and campaigns

  • Keep up to date with current research and campaigns issues.
  • Participate in research and campaigns activity by providing information about clients’ circumstances and taking action on behalf of clients.

Learning and development

  • Provide information, advice and cancer-specific benefits awareness training to health and social care workers supporting people affected by cancer.
  • Work with service managers and health and social care professionals to support the development of services for people affected by cancer.
  • Provide mentoring and support to staff and volunteers delivering welfare benefits advice and undertaking form filling to increase knowledge and develop capacity.
  • Read relevant publications to maintain knowledge and expertise
  • Keep up to date with legislation, case law, policies and procedures and undertake training appropriate to the role.

Other duties

  • Uphold the aims, policies and membership requirements of the Citizens Advice service and demonstrate a strong commitment to equality and diversity principles.
  • Work cooperatively with colleagues to encourage good teamwork across the organisation.
  • Develop and maintain links with statutory and non-statutory agencies and promote the work of the organisation in a positive and constructive way.
  • Prepare for and attend relevant supervision sessions / staff meetings / trustee board meetings as required.
  • Comply with all monitoring and reporting requirements and provide progress reports for managers, the trustee board, Citizens Advice and funders as required.
  • Adhere to the organisation’s information assurance policies and procedures and report any breaches or incidents of non-compliance.
  •  Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for own safety and that of colleagues.
  •  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.

Essential Requirements:

  1. An understanding of and commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the Citizens Advice service including a strong commitment to equality and diversity.
  2. The Citizens Advice Certificate in Generalist Advice or equivalent.
  3. Knowledge and understanding of Macmillan Cancer Support’s services and policies and of the problems associated with cancer.
  4. Recent and substantial experience of providing welfare benefits advice and casework to the Advice Quality Standard.
  5. Demonstrable in-depth knowledge of the legislation, documentation, rules and regulations associated with welfare benefits advice.
  6. Recent experience of providing advice in other areas including employment, housing and debt.
  7. A good understanding of the skills and techniques used in interviewing clients through a range of channels including telephone, digital and face-to-face.
  8. The ability to understand the needs of others and to empower clients to take action for themselves.
  9. The ability to monitor and maintain own standards, prioritise work and meet deadlines and targets.
  10. An organised approach to work and the ability and willingness to follow set procedures concerning casework and file management.
  11. Good numeracy skills and the ability to check calculations, prepare budgets and financial statements and understand statistics.
  12. The ability to analyse and interpret complex information and to communicate effectively in writing with particular emphasis on negotiation and representation skills and on preparing letters and reports.
  13. Good oral communication skills and the ability to communicate well with a wide cross section of people including members of the public, statutory and non-statutory agencies.
  14. The ability to work flexibly with a variety of individuals and organisations and to earn and maintain the trust of those people with whom the organisation works.
  15. The ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
  16. The ability to work as part of a team and to respond positively to change.
  17. A commitment to continuing professional development including a willingness to develop knowledge and skills.
  18. Good ICT skills and the ability to ensure the best use of IT systems and packages in the provision of advice services.
  19. The regular use of a car for work purposes including outreach and home visiting.

Further Details/Contact Information

1. 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.

2. Full-time employees are entitled to 36 days annual leave (including bank holidays).

3. Travel expenses will be paid on authorised business.

4. Closing date for applications is: 9.00am Weds 24th April

5. Interviews will be held on: Thursday 2nd May

6. If you would like an informal discussion about the role please contact Rachel Turnbull using the contact details below.

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

 

Rachel Turnbull
Citizens Advice Northumberland (Ashington Office)
89-91 Station Road
Ashington
NE63 8RS
07739660896

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

Please ensure that you receive a read receipt.