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Welfare rights advisers provide information and advice to people about social security benefits.

What does a welfare rights adviser do? Typical employers | Qualifications and training | Key skills

Welfare rights advisers provide face to face and telephone advice to people who need guidance on welfare benefits.

Typical responsibilities include:

  • meeting new and existing clients to discuss which benefits they're entitled to and how to claim them
  • helping people fill in benefit applications
  • challenging benefit decisions
  • keeping up to date with benefits legislation
  • keeping detailed records
  • attending events promoting welfare benefits
  • providing training.

Typical employers of welfare rights advisers

  • Local authorities
  • Housing associations
  • Universities and higher education institutions
  • Voluntary organisations and charities

Vacancies tend to be advertised locally – for example, on local job sites and local authorities' and charities' websites. They may also be advertised on these organisations' social media.

Specialist public sector and advice sector job sites such as Advice UK may also feature vacancies for this kind of work.

Qualifications and training required

There are no set qualifications for becoming a welfare rights officer, so you can get a job in this field with or without a degree.

If you have a degree in law, social work, politics, public administration or social sciences, this may strengthen your application. However, skills, experience and commitment are more important than your qualifications. Look for voluntary or paid work involving giving advice, listening or counselling to build the skills you need to be successful in this sector.

To find out more about public sector careers that you can get into via a school leaver route (eg and apprenticeship or school leaver training programme) see the public sector section of TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.

Key skills for welfare rights advisers

Recruiters look for candidates who are good listeners and can work with people from all walks of life. Other essential skills and qualities include:

  • good verbal and written communication skills
  • the ability to stay calm in difficult situations
  • customer service experience
  • sensitivity and an understanding of the need for confidentiality
  • IT skills
  • confidence
  • patience.

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