5 Nov 2015
Benefits Assessment Officer
NOTE: This job listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!
Designation: Senior Assessment Officer
Department: Finance and Resources
Division: Revenues and Benefits
Section: Benefits Assessment Team
Reports to: Performance Manager
Main Purpose of the post:
The post holder will be responsible for assessing and determining all types of claims for Housing and Council Tax Benefit, including private sector and public sector tenants and Council Tax Support for owner occupiers.
The post holder will be responsible for delivering excellent front-line customer liaison, ensuring that all sections of the community have access to the range of services provided through the Customer Centre appropriate to their benefit requirements.
Key areas of responsibility
1. Assess and determine Housing and Council Tax Support claims of all types and tenures in accordance with legislation, council policy and procedures.
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the Divisions key performance indicators and ensure all activity is undertaken with a view to achieving Divisional targets within these indicators.
3. Provide a modern information advisory and assessment service, providing in-depth responses to customers benefit enquiries and complete assessments when necessary in the Customer Centre environment.
4. Handle challenging enquiries and customers to achieve positive outcomes. Verify customer’s identity to required standards using appropriate processes.
5. Identify defective and effective claims and make judgements on additional evidence/information required. Convey this clearly and effectively to claimants both verbally and in writing
6. Verify evidence and information supplied by claimants in accordance with legislation and local policy, in compliance with the Verification Framework.
7. Carry out detailed and complex manual, and / or system based calculations where necessary to estimate customer’s entitlement to Housing and Council Tax Support.
8. Deal with complex enquiries from claimants, landlords, Housing Associations, advice agencies, solicitors, the benefits agency and internal departments.
9. Assist with the induction, coaching and mentoring of new staff in all aspects of benefits administration and council policy and procedures.
10. Maintain a detailed knowledge and understanding of Housing and Council Tax Support legislation, including that which affects the creation, classification and recovery of overpayments.
11. Maintain comprehensive knowledge of subsidy and its effects on Lambeth’s income and expenditure and ensure the lowest possible subsidy loss and maximum subsidy gains.
12. Undertake secondment when required to develop skills and knowledge within the Benefits Service.
13. Identify claims for backdated benefit and make balanced recommendations as to whether the claimant has shown continuous good cause.
14. Identify suspected or potential fraudulent claims and make written referrals to the Housing Anti Fraud Team.
15. Utilise the computerised benefits database and document imaging system to input claim information and extract information for enquiry purposes.
16. Identify and advise claimants of their potential entitlement to other welfare benefits – including income Support, disability benefits, working and child tax credits etc.
• To manage a diverse and heavy workload in an environment of constantly shifting priorities, including complex legislative changes and operational demands.
• To take responsibility, appropriate to the post for tackling inequality and delivery quality.
• To actively promote and uphold the Council’s Code of FRESH Values, Priorities and customer service standards.
• To ensure that Council statutes and government legislation is upheld. This includes, amongst others, Management Compliance Charter, Environmental policy, Data Protection Act, Race Equality Action plan, Quality Assurance Plan, Health & Safety, Sustainable Construction and recycling.
• To take responsibility, appropriate to the post, for tackling racism and promoting good race, ethnic and community relations.
• To take full responsibility for the development and implementation of your own Personal Development Plan and your own continued development in those areas relevant to your role within the Benefits Service.
• To undertake any other duties that may be required to meet the demands of the service. These may be varied from time to time to meet the needs of the service.
• To work outside of office hours on occasion when necessary.
• This position has no line management responsibility, and neither does it require deputisation in absence of the line manager.
• Make a valuable contribution to the effectiveness and continued improvement and success of the service by regularly contributing ideas, suggestions, and feedback to the Performance Manager and at appropriate meetings or workshops
The jobholder has no budgetary responsibility.
The jobholder has no responsibility for managing staff.
Key Knowledge K1
Assessment, quality and customer satisfaction tools and techniques and how these can be used to maintain and improve high quality assessments and customer service
In depth understanding of Housing and Council Tax benefit legislation and requirements of customer eligibility
Sound knowledge of assessing and inputting all types of claims on the Academy Benefits processing system. Sound knowledge managing case information and overall tray management on the document imaging system Anite
Ability to read and extract relevant information from SX3
Ability to read and extract relevant information from CIS(Customer information system)
Operate Qmatic and One Serve
A working knowledge of Welfare benefits as well as the range of services provided by the council
Relevant Experience E1 At least two years experience assessing Housing and Council Tax benefit claims in accordance with legislation, council policy and procedure.
Key Competencies A5 Communicating Orally
Speaks confidently, conveying clear messages to a wide range of listeners
Demonstrates a clear commitment to the team approach; exchanging ideas and providing support to colleagues.
A6 Analysing & Evaluating
Draws logical and accurate conclusions from complex assessment enquiries.
A4 Communicating in Writing
Conveys written information clearly and accurately to a wide range of recipients.
A9 Planning & Managing Activities
Effectively manages own workload, assessing claims, prioritising effectively and consistently meeting deadlines.
A11 Applying New Technology
Seizes opportunities to learn about and implement new technology (NT) to enhance individual benefit assessment skills and team performance.
A14 Working with Customers
Committed to securing the best possible service and outcomes for customers, understand their needs and perceptions, building rapport and constructively tackling emotional situations
A16 Delivering Results
Embraces responsibility and displays a capacity for driving issues forward.
P18 Respecting Diversity
Seeks to develop an understanding of different groups and individuals and ensures equitable and appropriate treatment for all.
Promoting the Service
Seizes the opportunity to create a professional image of the service though discussion personal example.
Resilience and Professionalism
Works to the highest standards, demonstrating resilience to pressure and retaining due professionalism at all times.
Demonstrates a commitment to continuously improve own knowledge, skills, and performance.