Walsall Council Welfare Rights Service is part of Money,Home,Job responsible for the delivery of its service to all residents of the borough; we offer a home visiting service to all which has resulted in Walsall people gaining collectively £10.827m in additional income last year 2012/13.
The Welfare Rights Service in Walsall is unique in offering a whole range of services to residents and our partners, these include an intensive house to house survey that has been nationally recognised as best practice by the Audit Commission as well as Local Government Association and The Pension Service.
We help residents to gain full entitlement to Welfare benefits but also concentrate on quality of life improvements.
Full welfare benefit checks are completed
Income Maximisation through the benefit system
Promote Quality of life Improvements to mention a few
Occupational therapy referrals
Reduced social heating tariffs signposted
Local charity and community groups sign posted
Shop mobility partnership
Fire safety checks promoted
Data link medicine list promoted
Credit union literature and sign posting
We offer various activities
The Core team delivering a holistic welfare benefit take up campaign around the borough generating additional benefits in traditionally hard to reach areas.
The carer’s project is for families of children with special needs and other family members; it holds weekly advice sessions at the Independent living Centre(ILC) 9 Wisemore new Tesco site, fortnightly sessions at Carer’s Association St Paul’s the Crossing, other surgeries in special schools and key community locations.
Child poverty is a big concern to us all in the borough, as a result the service is now working with Children’s Centres at various locations with staff to promote our services and identify families who need our help. We provide weekly advice sessions which if proved successful could be implemented across the borough.we also work closely with all the Area Family Support Teams, to help with benefit maximisation and debt management.
Benefits Based Charging (BBC) replaced the fairer charging assessment for service users of both home and day care services provided by the Local Authority. Our role is to ensure all client benefits are maximised so they are able to meet the charge for services provided. The charging system has been simplified so that benefits gained determine the charge. As part of the process we ensure that the household’s income is fully maximised through checking entitlement to welfare benefit take up and complimentary services. By completing any necessary claim forms ourselves we alleviate any stress or worry.
Debt is a big problem nationally, during the last 2 years the service has reacted to the need for specialist debt case officers by setting up a team of 4 staff who have been developing their skills and completing a debt qualification through the Institute for Money Advisors. The team is now dealing with clients on a daily basis with all types of debt issues and concerns with one member of the team currently working on the Money,Home,Job project to help colleagues develope a wider understanding of the complex issues that affcet many residents in the Borough.
Appeals have become a large part of our work because of the way the welfare benefit system is changing. We help clients with all types of benefit appeals but the majority of these are for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Disability Living Allowance (DLA). We currently very successful.
Advice Surgeries and promotional events are held throughout the Borough at numerous locations from Mosques to Churches and all types of community facilities. We have staff in attendance on the One Stop Express when requested offering advice and assistance with all types of enquiry. In 2012/13 we delivered 351 sessions in total.
The Welfare Rights Service
1st Floor Civic Centre
Other useful numbers
Housing Benefit enquiry line 0300 555 2855
Payment line 0300 555 2857
Fax 01922 635258
Council Tax enquiry line 0300 555 2851
Payment line 0300 555 2852 (24 hours)
Businesss rate enquiry line 0300 555 2853
Business rate payment line 0300 555 2854
Walsall Carers Centre 01922 610810
Independent Living Centre (ILC) 01922 650790
Shop Mobility 01922 650782
Civic Centre 01922 650000
Citizens Advise Bureau (CAB) 01922 700600