Welfare rights officer Welfare benefits adviser, welfare rights adviser, Citizens Advice adviser
Welfare rights officers give support and free advice to the public.
1. Entry requirements
There are no set requirements, but some employers will want you to have GCSEs or equivalent in English and maths.
A degree in a relevant subject, like social policy or community work may be useful.
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
You'll need clearance from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS).
Speaking a second language or holding a full driving licence could be helpful.
2. Skills required
- presentation skills
- maths and IT skills
- sensitivity and the ability to build trust
- negotiation skills
3. What you'll do
You'll be dealing with people face-to-face, over the telephone or by letter or email. Specialist advisers work with one type of client group like carers, or advise on one topic like housing.
Your day-to-day tasks may include:
- checking clients are claiming all the benefits they can
- helping people fill in forms
- helping clients get ready for appeals
- taking the place of clients at appeal tribunals
- explaining who can claim
- working with benefits agencies and other organisations
- referring clients
- keeping confidential records
- learning about relevant laws and welfare reforms
- publicising your service or campaigns
You may also be asked to train staff and volunteers.
Starter: £21,000 to £25,000
Experienced: £26,000 to £28000
Highly Experienced: up to £29,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally work in the evening or on Saturdays.
You'll be based in a public advice centre. You may also travel around your local area to attend tribunals, visit outreach centres or clients.
Some welfare rights officers are part of a team based in the community, employed by hospitals, housing associations or charities.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could move into specialist advice and casework, or be promoted to a team leader or management post.
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Last updated: 18 August 2017