Disability Benefits Specialist (Volunteer)
Suitable for -
What will you do?
- Complete an introduction to Citizens Advice and training for your role
- Complete paper and online forms for disability benefits with clients: Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance
- Explore client’s circumstances and barriers being faced and refer or signpost to other support services available to clients
- Write a summary of the clients’ problems and what action you have taken and add to our national database (Casebook)
Some examples of what you could do:
- Support a client who has acquired a brain injury and PTSD, which limits their ability to undertake daily activities to complete a claim for Personal Independence Payment
- Helping a mother apply for Disability Living Allowance for a child that has been diagnosed with ADHD
- Supporting someone whose husband has been diagnosed with dementia to claim Attendance Allowance who needs support through day and night
- Provide information and guidance to help a client prepare for a medical assessment as part of their benefits application and build evidence related to their claim
- Encouraging and reassurance clients regarding their rights and entitlement
What is in it for you?
- Make a real difference to people’s lives
- Supporting a team of qualified advisers, providing a wide range of support to over 5,000 clients every year, including around 44% who declare a disability or long-term health condition
- Gain in-depth knowledge about specific issues, including how different medical conditions affect people’s ability to undertake day to day activities
- Build on valuable skills such as communication, questioning and listening, interpreting information and summarising
- Continuous training and development opportunities
- Increase your employability
- Work with a range of different people, independently and in a team
- Have a positive impact in your community
And we will reimburse expenses too.
If you are training to be a solicitor and you train and volunteer as a local Citizens Advice adviser, you may be able to get up to six months off your solicitor training contract. See Solicitors Regulation Authority for more information.
How much time do you need to give?
We ask for a minimum of 8 hours per week, which can be over one day or spread over two days, for at least 12 months.
We can be flexible so come and talk to us.
What do you need to have?
You do not need specific qualifications or skills, but you will need to:
- Be friendly and approachable
- Be non-judgmental and respect views, values and cultures that are different to your own
- Have excellent listening skills
- Have excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Have good maths and IT skills
- Be able to understand complex information and explain it to others in a way that is easy to understand
- Be willing to learn about and follow the Citizens Advice aims, principles and policies, including confidentiality and data protection
- Be willing to undertake training in your role
- Have a drive to undertake further research and development to support clients, including staying on top of current legislation
Our volunteers come from a range of backgrounds and we particularly welcome applications from disabled people, people with physical or mental health conditions, LGBT+ and non-binary people, and people from Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.