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Welfare rights officer

Alternative titles for this job include Welfare benefits adviser, welfare rights adviser, Citizens Advice adviser

Welfare rights officers give support and free advice to the public.

Average salary (a year)

£21,000 Starter

to

£29,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become

How to become a welfare rights officer

You can get into this job through:

  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly

Apprenticeship

You could complete a revenues and welfare benefits practitioner higher apprenticeship if you're working for a local authority or advice organisation.

This apprenticeship will typically take 12 to 18 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
  • experience in related work 

More Information

Work

You could start as an admin assistant with an advice organisation and work your way up with further training in welfare rights.

You'll usually need GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent qualifications, in English and maths.

Volunteering

Many people start by volunteering in an advice centre.

As a volunteer you would receive training in interviewing skills and advice topics like welfare benefits and housing. It can take between 6 and 12 months to get enough experience to apply for jobs.

You can search for volunteering opportunities through Do It.

Direct Application

You can apply for jobs if you have experience of supporting people facing difficult situations, for example, those with money, family or housing problems.

More Information

Career tips

A qualification in counselling, legal work or advice and guidance could be useful, though your employer may give you on-the-job training.

The ability to speak a second language or a qualification in British Sign Language could be helpful for some jobs.

Further information

You can find out more about working in welfare rights from Citizens Advice and AdviceUK.

What it takes

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of psychology
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to work well with others
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

Restrictions and Requirements

You'll need to:

What you’ll do

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could:

  • check clients are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to
  • help people fill in forms
  • help clients get ready for appeals
  • speak on behalf of clients at appeal tribunals
  • work with benefits agencies and other organisations
  • refer clients to other services
  • keep confidential records
  • learn about relevant laws and welfare reforms
  • publicise your service or welfare campaigns
  • train staff and volunteers

Working environment

You could work in the community, at a client's home, in a court, in an NHS or private hospital or at an outreach centre.

Your working environment may be emotionally demanding.

Career path and progression

Career path and progression

With experience, you could move into specialist advice and casework, or be promoted to a team leader or management post.

Current opportunities

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a welfare rights officer right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Information, Advice and Guidance

  • Provider: HOPWOOD HALL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 August 2021
  • Location:

Information, Advice & Guidance - Level 2 Certificate

  • Provider: EALING, HAMMERSMITH & WEST LONDON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 August 2021
  • Location: Offsite

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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