Welfare Rights Adviser

Advice in person
Your role is to provide high quality up-to-date advice and information on rights and responsibilities concerning benefits, debt, housing, employment and consumer matters. You will be expected to provide general telephone, email & face to face advice and information.

“Seeing that you help to make a difference to people’s lives through the support you provide and how vital a role you play really inspires and drives you to carry on”.

Advice NI volunteer

What You'll Be Doing

Volunteers will also specialise in certain areas such as employment and tribunal/appeal work. Your work will be monitored and you will be expected to take part in formal case file reviews.

As a volunteer advisor, you will:
  • Interview clients
  • Research relevant information sources to gain advice for clients
  • Complete form filling and full benefit checks
  • Be able to give this advice to clients in a friendly and easily understood manner
  • Assist clients in negotiation with outside agencies such as creditors or social security
  • Draft letters of a high standard to third parties on behalf of your clients
  • Make phone calls on your clients behalf
  • Refer clients to other agencies where applicable
  • Attend support and supervision sessions
  • Attend both external and internal training sessions relevant to the post

What You'll Need

A volunteer advisor requires the following skills/qualifications:
  • Good verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent telephone manner and people skills
  • Good time management
  • Fully computer literate and comfortable with the main Microsoft Office tools, databases and emails.
  • Outgoing, friendly and proactive character.
  • Be comfortable volunteering within a group or by yourself.
  • Have to ability to understand and explain complex issues to a wide range of people
  • Being able to use your own initiative but be able to ask for help when you need.

Training and Support

All advisors are required to complete a comprehensive Training Programme in advice giving, which consists of 10 days over a number of months. Training will be provided by organisations including Advice NI Law Centre NI, Housing Rights and Wiser Adviser.

The Certificate programme includes:
  • Training packs and observation on the advice process (interviewing)
  • Training packs on the main enquiry areas (debt, employment, benefits etc.)
  • A training course to explore and practise aspects of advising clients
  • Interviewing clients with close support and supervision and attending further courses as needed
  • Quarterly support and supervision with the manager
  • Coaching and mentoring when required
Out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed in line with the charities travel and Expenses policy.