Our small team of expert case workers offer free advice and assistance to help relieve poverty, sickness and distress. We provide welfare benefit advice where people have complex cases and needs. A quarter of our clients have multiple disabilities and/or mental health issues and need help and guidance in making a successful claim. In cases where adverse decisions are made, we guide clients through the daunting appeals processes to secure just outcomes, often acting as their advocate.
We are a small team - three part-time caseworkers and one full-time and our CEO - and rely on volunteers and our board of Trustees for extra support. Our caseworkers work tirelessly to support clients for as long as the individual needs to secure a just outcome for their claim. If a case goes to appeal, it can take up to 100 hours of caseworker time over two years to secure a just outcome.
The pandemic has made it extremely difficult for clients to access our services - many are shielding or are digitally excluded and our office was closed during lockdown - we need to reach out to them as soon as possible and make it as easy as possible for them to reach out to us. In addition, as the furlough scheme is phased out more new clients will seek our support, many unfamiliar with the benefits system and their welfare rights.
"I really cannot thank GH (Welfare Rights Unit caseworker) enough for what he did for me, and does for so many like me. Quite simply put, if it was not for GH, I would not be here now."
“My caseworker at RCWRU has been incredibly helpful. I don’t know what I would have done without his assistance. His knowledge of benefits and patience with me has been brilliant. Everything we challenged he got for me and has made a massive difference to my well-being. I am and will be eternally grateful”.
Through a series of pop-up benefits surgeries in local community centres and spaces near to where our clients live, we will raise awareness of the services we offer. We will be able to meet more people face-to-face, make an initial assessment and help with immediate concerns and queries, sign-post them to other agencies as required and take their cases forward as necessary.
With two pop-up surgeries a month, we expect to help an additional 30 new clients each month, providing advice and reassurance and averting crises such as repossessions and homelessness. Our support helps alleviate stress and anxiety among the most vulnerable, leading to better health and wellbeing and securing the financial support they so desperately need.
Our small team is stretched to its limit and taking on new clients is a challenge. Without additional funding we cannot reach out to support the people we know need our help now, this minute.
Together we can do more.