Welfare Officer- Northern & Eastern Region
JOB DESCRIPTION: WELFARE OFFICER – NORTHERN AND EASTERN REGIONS
(TROUBLES PERMANENT DISABLEMENT PAYMENT SCHEME)
Responsible to: SEFF’s Director of Services
Location: East Region Office, Lisburn. Head Office, Lisnaskea & outreach across
North and East Regions
Hours of work: 30hours per week (funded initially until 31st March 2022)
Salary: £21,389.40 p/annum Gross + 6% Pension
Payable monthly in arrears
South East Fermanagh Foundation (SEFF) was founded on 15th August 1998 to provide practical and emotional supports for a large number of individuals who had been through traumatic experiences as a consequence of ‘The Troubles.’
Over the years SEFF’s development as a provider of services for victims/survivors has evolved and in the last four years, additional focus has been given to developing the case of need for victims/survivors based in Great Britain and Republic of Ireland, ensuring they also have access to support services alike their Northern Ireland counterparts. The organisation now stands at over 1,600 individual members and their associated families.
Currently SEFF has five hubs for service delivery; Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh. Newtownstewart, County Tyrone. Rathfriland, County Down, Lisburn, County Antrim, Bessbrook, south Armagh and London.
‘Supporting Victims and Survivors, Strengthening Communities.’
This post has been developed as part of the VSS Programme.
Purpose of the Role
The Welfare Officer role (one of four positions) has been developed in order to support victims/survivors engaging with the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme and their broader interaction with the wider welfare and benefits system.
Key working relationships:
- Management and staff
- Individuals and families (clients)
- Other sessional welfare service personnel
- Other community and voluntary organisations
- Statutory agencies eg VSS, CVSNI, DOJ, TEO
To deliver a confidential, impartial and objective welfare advice service to victims and survivors of the Northern Ireland Troubles to include, face to face (centre or home visits), email, via telephone or Zoom/Microsoft Teams. To provide representation for SEFF clients at all stages of the TPDPS process, including the Appeals stage.
1. Follow up and prioritise referrals to the welfare advice service, advising and assisting clients.
2. Be proficient in the rules and regulations associated with the Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme.
3. Carry out follow up work promptly and efficiently as required.
4. Liaise with Staff across the SEFF Team, Health and Wellbeing Caseworkers, VSS Case Managers, Counsellors and other sessional providers and volunteers within SEFF to provide a holistic service to clients and best support their needs.
5. Provide information to clients on welfare benefit rules/tests and processes so clients are empowered and have a better understanding of the welfare benefits system and welfare reforms which may affect them.
6. Maximise client’s income by completion of The TPDPS process or undertaking benefit checks, benefit and better off calculations and identifying other means of practical support.
7. Carry out all follow-up work for the resolution of a case; including telephone calls, letters, preparation for Mandatory Reconsiderations and Appeals, liaising with other staff and/or agencies.
8. Advise and assist clients as necessary to obtain further information when required.
9. Prepare written submissions for appeals, research commissioner decisions and abide by the TAS Code of Practice in providing Social Security Appeal representation.
10. Provide effective representation at Social Security and Disability Appeal Tribunals.
11. Assume responsibility for the management of case files including the accurate inputting of relevant case details onto the organisation’s computerised Advice Pro case recording system and maintaining timely and up to date records.
12. Identify and highlight advice needs and issues as they arise including welfare reform.
13. Provide materials/talks/information days on welfare changes and other issues relevant to victims/survivors and other staff as requested.
14. To keep updated with the changes in law relating to welfare reform and the benefits system.
15. Prepare monthly reports for the Director of Services and statistics for the Projects Coordinator.
16. Prepare welfare articles or materials on welfare issues for client use including for the monthly Newsletter, SEFF website, Facebook and Twitter Apps as requested.
17. Network and liaise with voluntary and statutory organisations and government agencies.
Social Policy & Lobbying
18. Identify, record and follow up social policy issues as they arise and report these issues to the Director of Services.
19. Contribute to social policy research and papers as requested.
20. Provide evidence, case studies and feedback on the relevant law and practice and assist in making proposals to effect change of policy relevant to victims/survivors.
21. Identify and liaise with Director of Services in relation to personal training needs.
22. Undertake training as agreed with Director of Services (particularly concerning the TPDPS) and attend internal and external meetings as requested.
23. Complete administration duties associated with the role for e.g. scanning documents onto Advice Pro and filing.
24. Adhere to legal and organisational requirements in the provision of advice, advocacy and representation.
25. Any other reasonable duties requested by the Management Board.
Job Title: Welfare Officer (Troubles Permanent Disablement Payment Scheme)
- Qualifications and Education:
- Completion of welfare reform courses to demonstrate ongoing professional development.
- CPAG accredited qualification in Welfare Rights.
- CPAG qualification in Tribunal Representation or equivalent.
- Level 6 Qualification (Degree)
- At least 1 years’ experience of working in a welfare rights setting within the last two years.
- Experience of assisting clients in preparing reviews and mandatory reconsiderations of benefit decisions.
- Experience in the use of IT, software, Microsoft programs, and in the use of CRM (e.g. Advice Pro)
- Experience of representing clients at Social Security and Disability Appeal tribunals or similar appeals.
- Demonstrable knowledge of recent welfare reforms and universal credit.
- Demonstrate the ability to identify and report social policy issues to effect change.
- Demonstrable knowledge of welfare supplementary payments.
- Demonstrate knowledge of housing rights in regard to issues which may affect victims and survivors.
- Awareness of financial support schemes that are available to victims/survivors.
- Skills and Abilities:
- Demonstrable ability to understand complex information and legislation.
- Excellent, listening, written and oral communication skills.
- Flexible approach to working hours.
- Flexible approach to travelling to other centres.
- Demonstrable ability to plan, prioritise and organise own workload.
- Caring and empathetic approach to the victims of trauma.