Innovation Exchange

SLAB Project

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

The City of Edinburgh Welfare Reform Advice Project is fully funded by the Scottish Legal Aid Board through the Making Advice Work programme. This is a partnership project delivered by the City of Edinburgh Council in close collaboration with Citizens Advice Edinburgh.

 

The service provides specialist Welfare Rights Advice to people affected by Welfare Reform so that negative impacts can be mitigated.

Theme: Partnership and Collaboration

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Welfare Rights Officers from the City of Edinburgh Council’s Advice Shop hold weekly surgeries in all 5 Citizen Advice Bureau’s (CAB) in Edinburgh. Referrals for complex issues arising from Welfare Reform are made by CAB staff. In addition outreach services have been developed at three other locations within the city.

 

Welfare Rights Officers assist customers with benefit claims and help them navigate their way through the complexities of the disputes process which can ultimately lead to representation at legal tribunals. Training is also provided to CAB advisors to build their capacity to deal with the impact of Welfare Reform.

The service improves access to specialist Welfare Rights advice across the city and ensures that customers can receive assistance in their local community.

 

 By reducing the need to travel to access advice – with the cost and health implications this can have for customers – the project helps reduce the impact of Welfare Reform on customers and maximises the income they can receive as a result.

Partnership working is key to the success of the service.  This helped identify the project partners during the development stage and has sustained the project such as trough partner agency staff taking on aspects of case management that make the customer journey more efficient and effective. It is also important to leave a legacy by providing training and briefing sessions to build the capacity of CAB advisors.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

David Gibb

Macmillan Welfare Rights Manager

City of Edinburgh Council

0131 529 2667

Case study added to site: June 2016

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