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Income Maximisation Support Adviser

Salary starting at NJC Scale 11 – £25,979

(Salary based on experience/qualifications)

Full Time (37 hrs per week)

 66 Devonshire Road, Cambridge CB1 2BL or Outreach

We provide free, confidential and independent advice to help people overcome their problems. We are a voice for our clients and consumers on the issues that matter to them.

Join our dedicated Advice Team, providing specialist advice and casework in a very busy working environment.

 

This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced adviser to:

  • To assist and support local clients with a practical, tailored, income maximisation service
  • Assist clients to access social tariffs for water & broadband
  • Help draw up income & expenditure sheets, reduce expenditure & provide help with budgeting & help managing money
  • Assist with full energy advice, run switch comparisons, access to hardship funds & energy funds.
  • Provide benefit checking & assist clients to claim benefits identified
  • Grant checks and applications for local & national funds
  • To deliver advice face-to-face & over the telephone

Benefits

  • 7% pension contribution
  • Holiday: 24 days pa plus Bank Holidays. One additional day each 12 months up to 5 years. Christmas closing an additional extra leave – up to 4 days
  • Death in Service insurance and EAP schemes
  • Flexible working hours
  • Variety of learning and development options
  • Family Flexible policies including job sharing

Closing date: Monday 1st April 2024

Interviews to be held: : W/C 2nd April 2024

 

Job Title:              Income Maximisation Support Adviser

Employer:               Cambridge & District Citizens Advice

Responsible to:     Specialist Projects & Outreach Manager

Based at:                66 Devonshire Road, Cambridge, CB1 2BL or Outreach

Purpose of Job:

This role is to assist and support clients with a tailored income maximisation service. To provide practical income maximisation, to include benefit checks, to assess for local & national grant help, help to access social tariffs, help to reduce expenditure. Assist clients to make benefit applications or provide resources and links for the client to do it themselves. The appointments would be over a combination of telephone, video call or face-to-face. The face-to-face appointments may be in the Cambridge office or at an outreach in the local community.

Main Responsibilities

  • Advice and support to clients
  • Planning and development
  • Service delivery
  • Administration
  • Training, development and recruitment
  • Research and campaigns
  • Other duties and responsibilities

Advice and support to clients

  • Carry out comprehensive benefit checks for means tested & check eligibility for disability benefits.
  • Carry out grant checks for both local and national funds & check eligibility
  • Assist clients to access & apply for social tariffs for water and broadband
  • Help client to maximise their income in other ways, g. rent-a-room scheme
  • Assisting clients to apply for benefits and grants
  • Carry out full energy advice to include assisting client with managing their energy account, looking at energy benefits, energy trust funds and hardship funds & energy switching
  • Help the client to draw up an income & expenditure sheet so clients can see their financial picture, help with reducing expenditure, as well as budgeting and managing their money.
  • Carry out initial Debt assessments & refer to an in-house Debt Specialist
  • Accept referrals from the ASS team, the benefits team, partner referrals, task lists and from National Contracts for local clients
  • Identify any other issues such as debt, employment, housing or other problems & emergencies and look to deal with these, as appropriate
  • Ensure work conforms to the Bureau’s Quality Standards and procedure

Planning and development

  • The development of suitable outreach locations by new methods and with new partners
  • Advise Management on service delivery issues and problems
  • Contribute to activities, procedures and systems so as to promote common practices within the advice team
  • Utilise IT systems and other resources
  • Participate in bureau initiatives as appropriate and contribute to the work of associated committees, working parties and projects

Service Delivery

  • Provide support for clients over the web, email, video, face-to-face and telephone
  • Work from the office, at outreach in the community and from home as agreed
  • Ensure that systems are maintained for case recording, statistics, follow-up work and quality control, in partnership with other members of the team
  • To ensure the recording of all outcomes estimated or confirmed in casebook
  • To work in accordance with data protection and ensure specific consent and authority for recording and storing of special category data
  • Meet targets set by management
  • Manage own diary to ensure maximum effectiveness and clients seen in a timely manner
  • Arranged workload to maximise the use of time and help the most clients
  • To be a team player and attend meetings as necessary

Administration

  • To ensure effective and efficient administrative systems are maintained
  • Abide by the health and safety policy with regard to staff, equipment and premises with statutory requirements
  • Proper case recording and recording of statistical information with regard to advice given to clients and workload

Training, development and recruitment

  • Keep up to date with legislation, case law, policies and procedures relating to all subject areas and undertake appropriate training
  • Read relevant publications provided by the Bureau
  • Attend relevant internal and external meetings as agreed with the line manager
  • Prepare for and attend supervision sessions/team meetings as appropriate internally and externally
  • Assist with service initiatives for the improvement of services and make recommendations where improvements can be made
  • Give external talks/training to partner organisations as agreed by Line Manager
  • To ensure that you make time in your own calendar, for your own development (each month)
  • To record all training undertaken over the course of the financial year, to hit a target of 20 points, each year.

Research and campaigns (Social Policy)

  • Assist with social policy work by providing information about clients’ circumstances, either anonymously or with the client’s consent
  • Provide statistical information on the number of clients and nature of cases and provide regular reports to Bureau management
  • Monitor service provision to ensure that it reaches the widest possible client group
  • Alert other staff to local and national issues
  • Liaise with statutory and non-statutory organisation’s and represent the Service on outside bodies as appropriate

Other duties and responsibilities

All staff at CCAB are required to:

  • Have a full commitment to the aims and vision for the organisation as laid out in the business plan and take part in annual processes such as business plan reviews, production of annual and other reports, etc.
  • Have a commitment to on-going change management in order to achieve those aims and objectives
  • Assist with current bureau projects, as required.
  • Have an understanding of and commitment to, the aims and principles of the service and its equal opportunities/diversity policies
  • Have an active commitment to promoting Social Policy/Research and Campaigning as a key driver for effecting a positive change for our clients
  • Have a commitment to working as a team player – supporting and respecting each other in a time of limited staff resource – having a flexible approach to covering functions that may be outside a specific job
  • Abide by health and safety guidelines and share responsibility for your own safety and that of colleagues
  • Undertake duties in a resource efficient way, minimising impacts to the environment wherever possible
  • Attend meetings, conferences and events that may entail staying away overnight; to undertake outreach work when required; .and to be able to occasionally work unsociable hours as required
  • To undertake locking up responsibility when on rota or as required when working from the office
  • Undertake any other duties connected with the operation of the Bureau as may be required from time to time
  • To provide cover for other outreach workers during holiday or sickness periods where possible.

Person Specification

Factor Essential Desirable
Experience Experience of drawing up income & expenditure sheets

Experience of income maximisation

Experience of budgeting & money management

Experience of using a benefit calculator to estimate client’s probable awards

CAB certificate of general advice
Knowledge Understanding of the eligibility criteria for common benefits such as UC, ESA, PIP, DLA, AA Universal Credit and Council Tax support

Understands budgeting/ money management

Has knowledge of income maximisation & reducing expenditure

 

Understanding of other related benefits, debt and housing

 

Skills and competencies Ability to implement and promote equal opportunities policies and relate to clients in a non-judgemental way

Numeracy skills for monitoring and analysis of statistical information for project funders and management

Ability to prioritise and manage own workload, appointments letters and telephone calls.

Ability to work closely with and support training of volunteers

Effective oral and written communication skills with particular emphasis on ability to work with a wide cross-section of clients, reports and correspondence.

Competent at using computers and other IT equipment and resources to enable good case checking

Ordered approach to the prioritisation and management of work and an ability and willingness to follow and develop procedures

Ability to give and receive feedback to colleagues objectively and sensitively.

Ability and willingness to work as part of a team and to maintain a positive attitude whilst under pressure

 

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