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National Homeless Advice Service

Equality & Welfare Reform Transformation Project

Posted by natalie_pearson January 24, 2020


The Equality & Welfare Reform Transformation Project are based at Citizens Advice Rossendale & Hyndburn who provide free, independent, confidential and impartial advice on people’s rights and responsibilities.


Equality & Welfare Reform Transformation Project

The project identifies any discrimination/incorrect judgements in social security provisions to alleviate the strain on disadvantaged and vulnerable claimants who are at risk of being sanctioned. The project ensures claimant rights are upheld throughout the benefit process by adopting the Public Law and Equality Act. This approach brings about solutions for individual clients and promotes changes to future policies and procedures.

The project aims to:

  • Prevent discrimination within welfare reform
  • Challenge discrimination through individual casework and support for clients
  • Stop future discrimination by campaigning and improving access to justice

How we can help you:

  • Free workshops and training sessions to professionals offering welfare benefit support and advice
  • Promotion of good practice within welfare reform
  • Templates, tools, advice kits
  • Strategic casework support
  • Improve pro bono and CLA gateway casework routes
Project Success Story

Background:

Client with vulnerabilities (undiagnosed learning difficulties, severe depression, dealing with bereavement) was unable to manage his finances independently and struggled to explain his situation to Jobcentre Plus staff. The client disengaged himself from services and received several Universal Credit sanctions.

Action:

The welfare rights casework undertaken, highlighted the client’s vulnerabilities to the JCP and emphasised how his sanctions impacted his ability to work.

Outcome:

The JCP revised the sanctions and developed a personalised Claimant Commitment for the client which included his vulnerabilities. The DWP tool used to record client details was updated to reflect the client’s personal circumstances and training was provided to all staff to effectively diagnose and identify claimants with disabilities/health conditions so that limitations, flexibilities and reasonable adjustments, as provided for in legislation, can be applied.

If you think we can be of help to you or your organisation or if you think you have support you can offer us, please do get in touch.

Amena Patel
Equality & Welfare Reform Transformation Project Lead
amena.patel@carh.org.uk