Welfare Rights

Welfare Rights

Welfare Rights is a discipline aimed at ensuring that United Kingdom citizens are aware of and receiving their maximum entitlement to state welfare benefits. Most local authorities in the UK employ welfare right staff, however, this role is increasingly carried out by the voluntary sector through local advice agencies like the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Welfare Rights Officers offer free, impartial and independent advice,information and support on all aspects of social security benefits and tax credits.

Most local authority Welfare Rights Officers offer free representation to people at a Social Security Appeal Tribunal, which are administered by the UK Ministry of Justice.

Welfare Rights Officers offer representation and advocacy in dealing with the local authority housing and Council Tax benefit sections, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) as well as offering expert lay representation at Social Security Appeal Tribunals.

Welfare Rights officers will generally:

* Provide advocacy and representation before all Social Security Appeal Tribunals
* Assistance with complex welfare benefit applications
* Advise and represent on all aspects of social security law, including entitlement to all benefits ,backdating, suspensions and over payments
* Represent all appeals involving disability living allowance, attendance allowance, incapacity for work and all other benefits
* Check whether there are any benefits or tax credits you are entitled to that you are not getting

Welfare Rights officers are closely involved with charities like the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), which provides a great deal of welfare rights training in the UK and also publishes several welfare rights manuals.

Welfare Rights Officers' professional organisation is the National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers (NAWRA) at a UK level; Scotland has its own professional association, Rights Advice Scotland (RAS).

External links

* [http://www.rascot.co.uk/ Rights Advice Scotland]
* [http://www.nawra.org.uk/ National association of welfare advisers]
* [http://www.cpag.org.uk/ Child Poverty Action group]


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