Benefits Officer

Southend-On-Sea, UK
18 Sep 2019
29 Sep 2019
Contract Type
Full Time
Your new organisation

The Council is a Unitary Authority based in the heart of the town centre offering traditional seaside living that makes it a great place to live and work. This diverse and busy town has great public parks and leisure activities, competitive house pricing and excellent travel links, accessible via 2 train lines form Liverpool St and Fenchurch Street. The Council is ambitious for the future of Southend-on-Sea and is working with local partners and local communities to ensure we deliver our exciting ambition for 2050.

Your new role

A rare opportunity has arisen for a Benefits Officer to join the Housing Benefit Department in the Financial Assessment and Support Team who process the Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction Scheme and Welfare Support for the whole borough of Southend on Sea. The team administers and supports four different benefit and welfare benefit schemes; Essential Living Fund, Discretionary Housing Payment, Council Tax Hardship, and Risk Based Verification. This role will involve making financial assessments in order to sustain tenancies, support financial crisis and one-off emergencies and make on the spot decisions to assess a person's entitlement for some of the most vulnerable residents. Whilst these all fall under the remit of Southend on Sea Borough Council the team administer and support residents across the whole of the Essex Borough in making applications for the Essential Living Fund. Another purpose of the role is the collection of Housing Benefit Overpayments where you will need to ensure the continued recovery of the debt whilst ensuring there is not undue hardship caused. You will also have to attend and lead on Personal Budget Support meetings and provide help and advice on Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction and all welfare benefits. This along with the other key roles will see the Benefit Officer speaking to claimants, support workers, charities and 3rd party stakeholders in a variety of different forms including phone, face to face and written correspondence.

What you'll need to succeed

To be successful in the role you will need to have previous knowledge of welfare benefits and have gained experience of working with members of the public including vulnerable individuals. You will be a confident decision maker who is happy to be responsible for your own case load. This will often involve you making decisions on a person's circumstances to assess their entitlement, so you must be able to deliver negative news in a sensitive manner. The team works at a fast pace and to tight deadlines, therefore you will need to be flexible in your approach as priorities can change quickly. Whilst our service is run during normal office hours you will need to be flexible as we provide a front facing service with the customer at its heart.

What you'll get in return

When joining the Council as a permanent employee, you can enjoy a range of benefits including: - flexible working, salary car sacrifice scheme and excellent training and development opportunities. They are committed to ensure that you are supported in this challenging role with the appropriate level of training. A full list of benefits provided by Southend Council can be viewed on the "Why Work For Us?" tab.

What you need to do now

If you're interested in this role, click 'apply online' to forward an up-to-date copy of your CV, or call Uzo Nebechi at Hays on (phone number removed). If this job isn't quite right for you but you are looking for a new position, please contact us for a confidential discussion on your career.

The Council is an equal opportunities employer. They welcome applications, regardless of race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital or civil partner status, pregnancy or maternity, age or religion or belief. All applications will be considered solely on merit

Similar jobs

Similar jobs