London – Central Lewisham- currently remote working with an expectation to be based in local office some of the time in the near future
Full-time 35 hours per week
Salary £21,000 – £27,000 depending on experience and training
About Citizens Advice Lewisham
Citizens Advice Lewisham (CAL) is an independent local charity and also a member of the national organisation Citizens Advice. We provide free, independent, impartial and confidential advice on issues ranging from welfare benefits, debt management, housing, immigration and family matters. We are the coordinator of the Advice Lewisham Partnership, a consortium of five leading local advice agencies. Our funders include the Money Advice Service, local council and Trust for London, and we are accredited by the FCA. We are a high performing team working to quality standards, with our caseworkers last year alone serving over 12,500 clients and securing outcomes in excess of £5.7M
About the role
To work as an adviser undertaking training as required to ideally enhance and develop existing advice experience and skills to become a Universal Credit Help to Claim adviser and additionally to undertake training as required to provide advice on other advice projects to play a key role in maintaining the organization’s ability to provide wide-ranging and professional advice service
Help to Claim Advice
- Provide advice on the UC Help to Claim service and/or undertake training as required to develop skills and knowledge to provide Help to claim advice and support
- Deliver Help to claim service by different channels including face to face, telephone and digitally
- 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
- Supporting 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.
- Ensure work on Help to claim follows Citizens Advice Help to Claim procedures and quality standards
- Maintain records in accordance with Citizens Advice quality framework
- Refer internally or to other specialist agencies as appropriate.
- Work in a variety of settings including community outreach, Jobcentres and local authority offices as required
Other CAL Advice Projects
- Provide advice and/or undertake other advice training as required to develop skills and knowledge to undertake advice casework on other advice projects
- Provide advice and advice casework including debt and/or benefits advice as required on other CAL advice projects delivered across a range of channels (face-to-face, telephone, digital)
- Maintain detailed records as required by current Citizens Advice and FCA procedures
- Manage a caseload
- Ensure that all work meets the requirements of the MAS and Citizens Advice quality framework
- Provide welfare benefits advice to clients to include assessing eligibility for benefits, better-off calculations and other income maximization advice
- Assist clients with other problems which are an integral part of their case, referring to other advisers and/or agencies as appropriate
- Be able to work flexibly to take into account the rapidly changing methods of delivering advice
- Take part in quality monitoring and peer review
You will have:
- Proven track record of providing advice or assessing advice need and ideally providing generalist advice and giving welfare benefits advice, including better-off calculations, for at least 12 months on completion of advice training or equivalent
- Good IT knowledge with an ability to support clients with their online claim application
- Effective oral communication skills with particular emphasis on negotiating and representing.
- Effective writing skills with particular emphasis on negotiating, representing and preparing reviews, reports and correspondence.
- Ordered approach to casework and an ability and willingness to follow and develop agreed procedures.
- Experience of interviewing in a sensitive but structured manner leading to empowerment of the client, and understanding of the issues involved in interviewing clients
- Numerate to the level required in the tasks.
- Flexible approach and willingness to work as part of a team of paid workers and volunteers, including providing ad hoc limited support to colleagues
- Ability to prioritize own work, meet deadlines and manage caseload.
- Ability to use a range of IT in the provision of advice across multiple channels and for effective case management
- Ability to give and receive feedback objectively and sensitively and a willingness to challenge constructively.
- Ability to work on your own initiative and maintain effective administrative systems for your work
- Ability to monitor and maintain standards for advice provision and quality assurance
- An understanding of the issues affecting society in relation to benefits and money advice and their implications for clients and service provision
- Able to demonstrate a commitment to learning and professional development
- Understanding of and commitment to the aims and principles of the Citizens Advice service and its equality and diversity policies
Closing date: 29/10/20
Completed application form and diversity monitoring form (4 and 5, below) should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org